World monuments go green for St Patrick’s Day

Pyramids, the Sphinx and Anfield green-up as part of a Tourism Ireland campaign

From the Pyramids and the Sphinx to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, almost 70 of the world’s most iconic sites greened-up for St Patrick’s Day.

Now in its four year, the number of landmarks wearing the green as part of a Tourism Ireland marketing campaign has swelled.

Alongside the Egyptian and Brazilian sites, other newcomers this year included the famous 'Welcome' sign in Las Vegas, the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, the Citadel in Jordan and Unesco World Heritage Site, the Tower of Hercules in Galicia, Spain.

They join old favourites including the Sydney Opera House, the Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the London Eye, the Prince's Palace of Monaco, Burj al Arab in Dubai, Table Mountain in South Africa, New York's Empire State Building and the Sky Tower in New Zealand.


Three famous football clubs also went green for the first time – Liverpool FC home ground Anfield, Bayern Munich base the Allianz Arena in Munich and Stockholm’s Friends Arena, the venue for the upcoming World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Sweden.

On home turf, greened Irish landmarks included Leinster House, the Four Courts and Charles Fort in Kinsale. Tourism Ireland chief executive, Niall Gibbons said the greening initiative was about more than just fun.

“Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world, while also showcasing our wonderful tourism offering to a huge global audience. Our message is that there has never been a better time to ‘Jump In’ and plan a visit to Ireland,” he said.

Minister for Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar described the greening campaign as “a major coup”.

“Tourism Ireland will now kick off its first major promotional campaign for 2013 in the key markets of Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and new markets like China, India and South America,” he said. “We’ll be using every opportunity to send out the message that Ireland is the place to visit in 2013.”

Tourism is the island’s largest indigenous industry, responsible for in excess of 4 per cent of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.

Meanwhile, participants in the New York parade included the Newtown High School Marching Band. From the same town where 20 children and six adults were killed in a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary school last December, band members remembered victims by wearing green and white ribbons, the colours of that school, on their uniforms.

Joanne Hunt

Joanne Hunt

Joanne Hunt, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about homes and property, lifestyle, and personal finance