Originally founded in 1854 as part of the Catholic University of Ireland, then reformed in 1880 and declared a university in its own right in 1908, University College Dublin is one of the Republic of Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious education institutions.
The university quickly established a reputation for attracting the best students and faculty in the country, including Fr. Gerald Manley Hopkins and writer James Joyce, becoming one of the most well-respected centres of learning in Europe.
By the 1940s, University College Dublin had outgrown its existing site in the city centre and a move to a new site at Bellfield was proposed. The new campus was located two and a half miles south of the city. Its design incorporated existing Georgian structures along with notable modern buildings, including the iconic water tower.
Today, University College Dublin plays a big part in city life, being home to around 30,000 students and 1,300 staff who add a huge amount to the social, artistic and sporting life of Dublin. Any visitor to the city should pay a visit to the campus and surrounding student areas, where they’ll discover a vibrant, fun and energetic scene.
Particular highlights include the Newman House building at St. Stephen’s Green and The Gardens behind Earlsford Terrace. Former University College Dublin buildings in the city centre have also become home to various government facilities, with one even being home to the Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Department.