The Spire of Dublin, 2003

2003 – The Spire of Dublin is a stainless steel monument that is 120 meters high and looks like a pin that has been placed by a giant right into the city center of Dublin, Ireland. Photo © by Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

Public artwork is usually difficult and stirs the discussion. People like it, people hate it, people have an opinion or ignore it. Here’s a public sculpture that I really like: The Spire of Dublin. Designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, it’s a stainless steel construction that stands 120 meters tall and has been erected on O’Connell Street in Dublin. (Wikipedia has more details.)

To me, it does not look like it has been built by humans at all. It resembles a super-sized pin that has been placed right into O’Connell Street by a giant. It is slim, elegant, glitzy, and quite unusual.

I had the opportunity to take a photo in 2003 when it was fairly new, and I like that photo a lot. When standing close to it, its straight form rises from the ground to high above you without a visible end. I stressed this point in my photo by putting it into the exact diagonale between the top left and bottom right corners of the frame. It’s just the sky, some very light clouds, and the spire. Lovely.

By the way, the photo got selected for the cover of The Little Book of Dublin by former In Dublin editor Tom Galvin. (Never mind the minimal edits they made, like cropping the image, squeezing it into a square format, and mirroring it horizontrally. Ah, I forgot to mention the coloring.) Still – I like it. 🙂

Tom Galvin: The Little Book of Dublin, published by New Island Books, Dublin, 2004 (cover photo based on an image © Mark Zanzig)

The high resolution image

Capture Date2003
LocationDublin, Ireland
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
Image SourceFuji Slide Film
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions4254 x 6392 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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