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Places of Interest :

Kilkenny is Ireland's medieval capital. Located in the south-east of the country, The city is steeped in history, dominated by superb ancient architecture, such as the magnificent Kilkenny Castle, one of Ireland's most famous castles. Built by the Normans in 1190, and occupied by the Butler family for 500 years, the fortress has been restored to its former glory.

Kilkenny is also famous as an international centre of contemporary art & culture. The Kilkenny Design centre, located in the old stables and coach house of Kilkenny Castle, has an extensive range of Irish craft products. The centre stocks Irish-made clothing for both ladies and men, crystal, ceramics, linens and a wide range of beautiful gifts from all over Ireland.

Kilkenny is superbly equipped for golf, fishing and equestrian activities. We boast the famous Mount Juliet championship golf course, just fifteen minutes from the City, and where the prestigious American Express Golf Championship was hosted in September 2002. Kikenny plays host to such renowned festivals as the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival June Bank Holiday weekend and the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August.

Kilkenny City is situated in an ideal central location - just over an hour from Dublin, and two hours from Shannon.

Places to Visit

KILKENNY CASTLE: This superb castle is located on elevated ground beside the river at the south-eastern end of the city. The castle was built in the thirteenth century on the site of an earlier fort. However, the present building is vastly different from the stronghold erected by Strongbow in the middle ages. Despite this, the present structure retains the architectural lines of a medieval castle. The building forms three sides of a quadrangle, with three of the four original round towers intact. The Butlers, the Earls of Ormonde (an Hibernicised Norman clan), occupied the castle from the fourteenth century onwards. In modern times, the castle has been restored to its former glory by the state, and was officially open to the public in 1976. There is an exhibition hall open to the public in the Old Castle Stables.

SHEE ALMS HOUSE: Shee Alms House is situated in Rose Inn Street and was founded in 1582 by Sir Richard Shee. The purpose of these institutions was to take care of the poor, and this Tudor Alms House is one of the last remaining buildings of its type still in existence in Ireland. The building has been recently restored and now accommodates the Kilkenny Tourist Office.

SAINT CANICES CATHEDRAL: The 13th century cathedral of St Canice is the second longest cathedral in Ireland . The site on which the cathedral stands has been a site of Christian worship since the 6th century. The architectural style of the cathedral is Early Gothic and it is built of limestone. The cathedral has been carefully preserved in its original style and form. It is richly endowed with many stained glass windows including the East window which is a replica of the original 13th century window. The cathedral contains some of the finest 16th century monuments in Ireland. Beside the cathedral stands the 9th century round tower. It may once have been a watchtower and a refuge and it can be climbed to give an unsurpassing vantage point to view the city of Kilkenny and the surrounding countryside (weather permitting).

JERPOINT ABBEY: An outstanding Cistercian abbey founded in the second half of the 12th century. The church with its Romanesque details dates from this period. In the transept chapels the visitor can see 13th and 16th century tomb sculpture. The tower and cloister date fr.

DUNMORE CAVE: History and geology blend at Dunmore Cave to give an interesting and unique situation. Consisting of a series of chambers formed over millions of years, the cave contains some of the finest calcite formations found in any Irish cave.

DUISKE ABBEY: Duiske Abbey, now the Catholic parish church, but once the church of a 13thcentury Cistercian monastery, founded in 1204, the remains of which have been incorporated into the building. The name derives from the Gaelic for Black Water – dubh uisce – a river that joins the Barrow a little downstream of the abbey. Duiske Abbey, the largest of Irish Cistercian monastery churches and whose buildings encompassed much of the town, began to fall apart in 1536 when it was suppressed. Although the monks continued to occupy it for many years, it gradually fell into ruin. The last tragedy was in 1744, when the tower collapsed into the nave. However, the debris from the tower was smoothed over to create a new floor and the west end was re-roofed to make a place of worship for the Protestant Church of Ireland. In 1812 the church was returned to the Catholic community and the long work of restoration began – to be completed finally in the 1980’s.

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