Irelands top 4 Castles
Ireland is a country which is draped in history. It is hard to go far without seeing a landmark or piece of historical evidence. During medieval times Ireland many castles where built and then occupied by various rulers and important people across the land. Today these castles can still be seen however some are in much better condition than others. Below is a list of the top 4 castles you should visit if you ever have the opportunity.
Dublin castle was built almost 786 years ago. Completed in the year 1230 it has been occupied by various different people. The people who once lived here all where regarded as important members of society. Originally founded as a defensive establishment by the Normans. Later it became a royal residence hosting the key figures who controlled the country over a period of time. After the signing of the Anglo Irish agreement in 1921 the castle was handed over to the new provisional Government which was led by Michael Collins. A beautiful piece of Architecture and one of Ireland’s most historical landmarks, Dublin Castle is a landmark encompassing the beauty and history Ireland has to offer and should not be passed by.
Co. Cork is the home of Blarney castle, another great Irish landmark. Originally built in the year 1200 it was subsequently destroyed in 1446. However this great tragedy was rectified by Cormac McCarthy, Lord of Muscry who commissioned the re-building of the castle. The estate changed hands multiple times over the years until it was placed under the ownership of the Colthurst family in the 19th Century. Today the estate is owned by Sir Charles St John Colthurst and the castle is open to all tourists. Surrounded by wonderful gardens and other tourist attractions which include Druids circle, the wishing steps and the witches cave it is definitely a trip worth making.
Rock of Cashel
Munster provides us with another beautiful landmark in the form of the Rock of Cashel. Located in Cashel, Co. Tipperary this is one of Ireland’s most mythical tourist attractions. Legend goes that the Rock itself originated from Devils bit. Devils Bit is a mountainous location 30 miles outside of Cashel where it is said that St. Patrick banished Satan back to hell. As a result of this a massive chunk of rock flew from the mountain, landing in Cashel and becoming what it is today. In 1109 the king of Munster donated his fortress on the Rock to the Catholic Church. Thanks to this you can see some of finest pieces of Celtic Art and medieval architecture found anywhere in Europe. In 2011 Queen Elizabeth visited the castle herself during her short visit to Ireland, this highlights its reputation as a must see on ones visit to the emerald isle.
William Marshal, the first earl of Pembroke was the man behind the construction of Kilkenny castle in 1195. The Castle was of Norman influence and was built for the protection of the town. The Earls of Pembroke owned the Castle until 1391 when they sold it to the Butler dynasty. The castle stayed within this ownership until it was eventually sold back to the people of Kilkenny for an incredible £50. Not a bad price considering the price of property in Ireland these days. As a result of this it has been refurbished and made available to visitors. The castle is surrounded by beautiful Ornamental gardens and has part of the national art gallery on display inside. Now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland it provides a day out that will not disappoint.
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