Planning your holiday? Visit our consumer website

13 Mar 2018

Tourism Ireland reveals the quirkiest ‘Greenings’ for St Patrick’s Day 2018

What do a lion statue in Kenya made entirely from re-cycled flip flops, a giant Blue Whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum in London and a Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel in Lapland have in common? They are just some of the more unusual participants in Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative for St Patrick’s Day 2018.

Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative has gone from strength to strength – from its beginning back in 2010, when just the Sydney Opera House and the Sky Tower in Auckland went green, to this year, which looks set to be the biggest Global Greening to date. More than 250 sites are already signed up to take part (and new sites are coming on board every day). From Rome to Rio and from London to Las Vegas, a host of buildings and sites around the world will be turning a shade of green over the coming days.

This year’s ‘Greenings’ include some quirky places and things, including:
  • a giant, 25.2 metre Blue Whale skeleton, called ‘Hope’, suspended from the ceiling in the Natural History Museum in London;
  • a lion statue made from re-cycled flip flops which have been washed up on the coastline of Kenya;
  • the Lapland Hotels SnowVillage in Kittila, in northern Finland. Each year, the hotel is built to a new design and, this year, the entire hotel has a Game of Thrones theme – complete with a life-sized Iron Throne with swords, a scary Braavos Hall of Faces and a White Walker with glowing blue eyes;
  • a lighthouse on the frozen Lake Näsijärvi in the Tampere region of Finland;
  • the Wawa Goose – an 8.5 metre, metal goose statue, which stands along the TransCanada Highway outside the small town of Wawa in northern Ontario, Canada;
  • a polar bear habitat and a polar bear statue called ‘Chimo’, in the town of Cochrane, also in Ontario. Cochrane is the starting point of the Polar Bear Express train that travels the farthest north in the province of Ontario and that’s why the polar bear was chosen as the town’s mascot;
  • the Big Nickel – a giant replica of the Canadian 5-cent coin from 1951, standing nine metres tall in the grounds of the Dynamic Earth science museum in Sudbury, Canada;
  • two of Australia’s famous ‘Big Things’ – The Big Banana and The Big Kangaroo;
  • the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge – the soaring, $4 billion Hudson River crossing in New York, which opened in 2017; and
  • a carp statue, called ‘Fridolin’, in the town of Höchstadt an der Aisch, in Bavaria.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the ninth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and it’s bigger and better than ever this year, with some wonderful (and unusual!) new additions like a lion statue made from re-cycled flip flops in Kenya, the Wawa goose statue in Canada and a Blue Whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum in London. St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage.”

2018 marks the ninth consecutive year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. New buildings and sites taking part this year include the Luxur Obélisque at the centre of the Place de la Concorde in Paris, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, the San Mamés stadium in Bilbao (the home of Athletic Club Bilbao) and Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.

  The lighthouse on the frozen lake Näsijärvi in the Tampere region of Finland joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative for the first time, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.

Notes To Editors

LANDMARKS AND ICONIC SITES TAKING PART IN TOURISM IRELAND’S GLOBAL GREENING INITIATIVE 2018

Note: first time ‘greenings’ marked *


Great Britain

  • Blue Whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum, London *
  • Tower 42, London *
  • London Eye
  • Heron Tower, London
  • Nelson’s Column, London
  • Selfridges, London
  • Selfridges, Birmingham
  • Trafalgar Square fountains, London *
  • National Football Museum, Manchester *
  • Trafford Centre, Manchester
  • Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth *
  • SEC Armadillo, Glasgow     
  • SSE Hydro, Glasgow


North America
United States
  • Empire State Building, New York
  • Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (Tappan Zee Bridge), New York *
  • One World Trade Center, New York
  • Aisling Irish Community Center, New York
  • Wells Fargo building, Albuquerque
  • 360 Residential Condominiums tower, Austin
  • City Hall, Cedar Park
  • Chicago Board of Trade building
  • Civic Opera House, Chicago
  • Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago
  • John Hancock Center, Chicago
  • Novak Construction, Chicago
  • Navy Pier, Chicago
  • One Prudential Plaza, Chicago
  • Soldier Field, Chicago
  • State Street, Chicago
  • Wrigley Building, Chicago
  • Harbor Bridge, Corpus Christi *
  • Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas
  • Reunion Tower, Dallas
  • City Hall, Denver
  • City Hall, Houston
  • ‘Welcome’ sign, Las Vegas
  • High Roller at The LINQ, Las Vegas
  • Keep Memory Alive Event Center (KMAEC), Las Vegas
  • ONE Summerlin, Las Vegas *
  • The Palazzo, Las Vegas *
  • The Venetian, Las Vegas *
  • Junction Bridge pedestrian walkway and Main Street bridge, Little Rock
  • Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans *
  • City Hall, San Francisco
  • Coit Tower, San Francisco

Canada
  • Niagara Falls (on both the Canadian and US sides)
  • Casa Loma, Toronto
  • City Hall, Toronto
  • The Distillery District, Toronto
  • Calgary Tower, Calgary
  • Chimo the polar bear, Cochrane *
  • Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat *
  • Cochrane sign *
  • Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa
  • Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • The Big Nickel, Sudbury
  • The Wawa Goose *


Mainland Europe
Austria
  • Burgtheater, Vienna
  • Bridges on the Danube Canal, Vienna
  • Wiener Riesenrad (ferris wheel), Vienna
  • Bergiselschanze (ski jump), Innsbruck

Belgium
  • Grand Place, Brussels
  • Manneken Pis statue, Brussels (“dressed” in Irish costume)
  • Burg, Bruges
  • Town Hall, Dinant *
  • Celtic Cross, Fontenoy
  • Belfry, Mons
  • Lille Gate, Ypres *

Croatia
  • ‘Lighting Giants’, Pula
  • New fountains, Zagreb

Cyprus
  • Municipal Town Hall, Nicosia

Denmark
  • Nimb Hotel, Copenhagen *
  • Radisson Collection Royal Hotel, Copenhagen

Estonia
  • Vabaduse Väljak (Freedom Square), Tallinn *

Finland
  • Lapland Hotels SnowVillage, Kittilä *
  • Oulu Theatre and Harbour ice rink *
  • Lighthouse on the frozen Lake Näsijärvi, Tampere *
  • Näsinneula (observation tower), Tampere
  • Tammerkoski Rapids, Tampere *

France
  • Luxur Obélisque, Place de la Concorde, Paris *
  • Beaugrenelle (shopping centre), Paris *
  • BHV Marais (Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville – department store), Paris
  • Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris
  • Château de la Muette (headquarters of the OECD), Paris
  • Drugstore Publicis, Paris
  • Galeries Lafayette, Paris
  • Irish Embassy, Paris
  • Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland® Paris 
  • University of Angers – ESTHUA, Angers *
  • Hôtel de Ville, Cannes
  • La Croisette, Cannes
  • La Tour du Suquet, Cannes
  • Musée de la Castre, Cannes
  • Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, Cannes
  • Tapis rouge lumineux (red carpet), Cannes
  • Collège Anatole France, Châteaudun *
  • Hôtel de Ville, Athis Mons
  • Hôtel de Ville, Grandvilliers
  • Hôtel de Ville, Mellac
  • Hôtel de Ville, Royan *
  • Hôtel de Ville, Saint-Mandé
  • Palais de l’Europe (seat of the Council of Europe), Strasbourg *
  • Pont Neuf, Toulouse *

Georgia
  • TV Tower, Tbilisi

Germany
  • Funkturm Berlin
  • Reichsburg Cochem
  • Lighthouse building, Düsseldorf
  • Altes Rathaus, Gescher
  • McKiernan's Irish Café, Gescher
  • ‘Fridolin’ the carp statue, Höchstadt an der Aisch
  • Rathaus (Town Hall), Limburg
  • Allianz Arena, Munich
  • BMW Welt, Munich
  • Olympic Tower, Munich
  • Heidecksburg Castle, Rudolstadt
  • Königsbau, Stuttgart *
  • Neumünster church, Würzburg
  • Rathaus (Town Hall), Würzburg

Hungary
  • Müpa Budapest
  • Tüskecsarnok (indoor arena), Budapest

Italy
  • Colosseum, Rome
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Piazza Mercurio, Massa
  • Il Pozzo di San Patrizio (St Patrick’s Well), Orvieto
  • Torre del Moro, Orvieto *

Latvia
  • Riga Town Hall

Luxembourg
  • Hôtel de Ville, Luxembourg city

The Netherlands
  • SkyLounge Amsterdam *
  • Splendor Amsterdam
  • Uilenburgersjoel Amsterdam *
  • DOT, Groningen *
  • Euromast, Rotterdam *
  • SkyView Scheveningen Pier, The Hague
  • Windmill, Weert

Poland
  • Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw
  • Hotel President, Bielsko-Biala
  • City Hall, Kalisz *
  • Kosciuszki Street Bridge, Gdańsk
  • Uczniowska Street Bridge, Gdańsk
  • Spodek (arena), Katowice
  • Galeria Echo (shopping centre), Kielce
  • Father Bernatek (Kladka Bernatka) footbridge, Kraków
  • Lipska Street flyover, Kraków
  • Tauron Arena, Kraków
  • EC1, Łódź *
  • OFF Piotrkowska (shopping mall), Łódź *
  • Centre for the Meetings of Cultures, Lublin *
  • Latin School, Malbork *
  • Malbork Castle Museum (west wing), Malbork *
  • Museum of the City of Malbork *
  • Archaeological Museum, Poznań *
  • Bishop Jordan Bridge, Poznań *
  • Grand Theatre, Poznań *
  • MTP Spire, Poznań *
  • Raczyński Library, Poznań
  • Ratusz (Town Hall), Poznań
  • Brama Przemyska Bridge, Przemyśl *
  • Casimir Castle, Przemyśl *
  • City Hall, Przemyśl *
  • Ratusz (Town Hall), Rzeszów
  • City Hall, Toruń *
  • Browar Bojańczyków Cultural Centre, Wloclawek
  • Bank Zachodni WBK headquarters, Wroclaw
  • Centennial Hall, Wroclaw
  • Grunwaldzki Bridge, Wroclaw
  • National Museum, Wroclaw *
  • Opera House, Wroclaw *
  • Stadion Wroclaw
  • University Bridge, Wroclaw
  • University of Wroclaw *
  • Szyb Maciej, Zabrze

Portugal
  • Santuario Nacional de Cristo Rei (Christ the King statue), Lisbon
  • Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, Cascais

Serbia
  • Ada Bridge (Most na Adi), Belgrade
  • Palace Albanija, Belgrade
  • Hotel Moskva, Belgrade
  • Canadian Embassy, Belgrade
  • Glavna Pošta (main post office), Belgrade *
  • Hotel Park, Belgrade
  • House of the National Assembly of Serbia Narodna Skupstina, Belgrade

Slovak Republic
  • Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, Bratislava
  • New building of the Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava

Slovenia
  • Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana

Spain
  • Tower of Hércules, A Coruña, Galicia
  • San Mamés stadium, Bilbao *
  • Marbella arches
  • Edificio Anexo al Ayuntamiento, Murcia
  • Empresa Municipal de Aguas, Murcia *
  • Tortosa town *

Sweden
  • Vasa warship, Stockholm

Switzerland
  • The Rhine Falls, near Zurich      


Australia and New Zealand
Australia
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney
  • State Library of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Town Hall, Sydney
  • The Big Kangaroo, Border Village
  • The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour
  • Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane
  • Optus Stadium, Perth *
  • The Bell Tower, Perth
  • Council House, Perth
  • Elizabeth Quay, Perth

New Zealand
  • Sky Tower, Auckland
  • Auckland Harbour Bridge *
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Eden Park, Auckland
  • Christchurch Airport
  • Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington


Emerging Markets
Brazil
  • Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro
  • Brasília Shopping (shopping centre), Brasília
  • Cathedral of Brasília, Brasília
  • Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasília
  • Torre de TV Digital, Brasília
  • Teatro da Paz, Belém *
  • Teatro Amazonas, Manaus
  • Theatro São Pedro, Porto Alegre *
  • Torre da Globo (Globo TV Tower), Recife
  • Torre da Globo, São Paulo
  • Catedral de Pedra, Canela *

China
  • Great Wall of China
  • Chengdu ICON YunDuan, Chengdu *
  • Canton Tower, Guangzhou
  • Ruins of St Paul’s, Macau
  • Nanjing CENBEST and Nanjing International Finance Center, Nanjing *
  • Nanjing Eye (pedestrian bridge), Nanjing *
  • Grand Kempinski Hotel, Shanghai
  • Zhongyuan Tower, Zhengzhou, Henan Province *

Israel
  • Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa *
  • Water Tower, Ramat Gan
  • City Hall, Tel Aviv

Japan
  • Ise Ohtorii, Ise City 
  • Yokohama Marine Tower, Naka Ward, Yokohama *

Kenya
  • Lion statue (made from re-cycled flip flops), Mount Kenya National Park *

Malaysia
  • Straits Quay lighthouse, Penang

Mexico
  • El Ángel de la Independencia, Mexico City
  • Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City
  • Glorieta de los Caballos, Guadalajara *
  • Los Arcos, Guadalajara
  • Monumento a los Niños Héroes, Guadalajara
  • Palacio Municipal, Guadalajara
  • Parque Lineal Pablo Neruda, Guadalajara *
  • Paseo Chapultepec, Guadalajara
  • Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres, Guadalajara
  • Unidad Deportivo la Tucson, Guadalajara *

Russia
  • Izvestia Hall, Moscow

South Korea
  • Busan Cinema Center, Busan *
  • City Hall, Seoul

United Arab Emirates
  • Yas Viceroy hotel, Abu Dhabi
  • Burj Al Arab, Dubai
  • Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Dubai *
  • Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai *

Vietnam
  • Pen Monument, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi *