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
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.
is situated in an ideal central location - just over an hour from Dublin, and
two hours from Shannon.
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 is situated in Rose Inn Street and was founded
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.
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).
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.
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, 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 1980s.