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The Phoenix Park is said to be the largest enclosed city park in Europe, consisting of 1,752 acres. It is home to Aras an Uachtarain (the official residence of the President of Ireland) and Dublin Zoo.
Extending more than 1,752 acres in area few cities can lay claim to a breathing space quite like Dublin's Phoenix Park. The largest urban park in Europe and one of the most impressive legacies of our Georgian Heritage, the Phoenix Park contains a number of stately homes, including the official residencies of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin and the residency of the US Ambassador.
The Phoenix Park is also home to a large herd of fallow deer. The deer have been present in the park since the 17th Century when they were hunted for sport by the gentry of the day.
Phoenix Park is open to the public all year round. Contained within the grounds are a number of sports fields and there are also a number of cycle and walking routes through the park. The park also houses Dublin Zoo reputed to be the fourth oldest zoo in the world.
A lively and entertaining exhibition on the history and wildlife of the Phoenix Park is on display in the visitor centre. Here visitors can receive information and enjoy a historical interpretation of the park from 3500 BC to present day. There is a special section for children which allows them to explore the wonders of forest life. Temporary exhibitions are also regularly on display in the centre. Adjoining the visitor centre is the fully restored Ashtown Castle, a medieval tower house that dates before the 17th Century. The castle had been incorporated into an 18th Century mansion and was 'rediscovered' when this building was demolished due to dry rot.