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Kilkenny City – The Historical Hub of the South

Kilkenny City is renowned for many things. The Marble City is often referred to as the 'Craft Capital of Ireland' with its huge craft and design scene celebrated yearly at the Kilkenny Arts Festival. You cannot discuss the county without mentioning the sporting achievements of its hurling team. The Cats have won the All Ireland Championship a whopping 34 times. Pretty impressive, but Kilkenny's most notable feature is without a doubt its fascinating history.

Kilkenny's Medieval Magnificence

If you're a history buff or love old architecture, then Kilkenny is the destination for you. The medieval city comprises of winding streets with stunning restored buildings. The ideal thing about the city is that because it's compact, you can easily get around by foot. The must see list is packed with amazing cathedrals, castles and galleries that will grab your attention from the get go!

Kilkenny Castle

So first on the agenda has got to be Kilkenny Castle. The castle rises above the River Nore and is one of Ireland's most visited attractions. The castle was originally a wooden tower built in 1172 by Strongbow and was upgraded to a stone castle by his son-in-law years later. The castle was home to the Butler family and is still home to a collection of artwork owned by the family. In 1967, the castle was handed over to the city for £50, not a bad price for those days! Guided tours are available and there's a quaint cafe on the grounds if you're feeling peckish.

St. Canice's Cathedral

Onwards and upwards and we're northbound to Ireland's second largest medieval cathedral. St. Canice's Cathedral is a stunning piece of Gothic architecture. Featuring a 30m round tower that visitors can climb, the cathedral dates back to the 13th century and is the oldest standing structure in the city.  Not too shabby for an 800 year old building! The City of Kilkenny was named after St Canice, a 6th century monk and his memory lives on through the cathedral.

If you fancy taking a trip out of the city, Jerpoint Park should definitely feature on your itinerary. The lost town of Newtown Jerpoint, a medieval town, features the remains of St. Nicholas' Church with a domestic tower. You can see the outlines of burgage plots and the remains of houses. It's a fascinating insight into the 12th century times.

Kilkenny City should definitely be on your radar if you're in search of history, architecture and everything in between. Accommodation is easily found with an abundance of Kilkenny B&Bs dotted throughout the city. If you're looking to venture outside the city and spend a night in the countryside there is a wide selection of Kilkenny bed and breakfast's in prime locations for you to choose from. A greeting at the door and a hot cup of tea/coffee and treats from your host is always a guarantee!

Book a Kilkenny B&B

Posted: 08 May 2014 by Niall McKee | with 0 comments

Tags: Culture, Ireland, Kilkenny

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