IN THE CITY OF KILKENNY....
walking here really gives you the feeling that nothing here has changed for decades on end....
It is a quiet town and I wasn't so very much impressed by the town because of the fact that most buildings were built with GREY STONE......and I do so love colour!
In the photograph: the St. CANICE'S CATHEDRAL with it strange, round, chimneylike tower!
WEATHER PERMITTING the tower may be climbed!!
This outstanding, mediaeval cathedral is a site of christian worship since the mid 6th Century. With its round tower (from the 9th Century) it forms the heart of Kilkenny, giving the city its name.
NOTE: accessible for wheelchairs, there are toilets and a lovely well stocked gift shop (where I bought a nice calender for coming year!)
Contact: Ms Naomi Harper (Tourist Officer) or Mr. George Bell (Sexton)
tel. 056 64971
How wonderful the DOM in SPEYER, Germany, so sweet and friendly the pinkish stone they used.....for whom is interested: see my SPEYER page....
But I walked the streets of KILKENNY, admired the churches and was amazed seeing a church with this round tower: it makes me think of A FACTORY CHIMNEY!!
AND A CASTLE NEEDS A GARDEN......
and here it is: the CASTLE'S ROSEGARDEN, seen from above........
Here we can really see how extremely green IRELAND is......yes, we all think that neighbours grass is always greener but IRELAND'S greeness beats everything, thanks TO THE ABUNDANT RAINFALL......
In the background the SILHOUETTE of the famous ST. CANICE CATHEDRAL and other important buildings of KILKENNY CITY!
This is a TUDOR MERCHANT'S HOUSE in the centre of KILKENNY CITY in Parliament street to be more specific!
It is now the property of the Kilkenny ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY and it is a UNIQUE survival of a late 16th Century town house in IRELAND.
The substantional stone house was built by JOHN ROTHE FITZ-piers, a prosperous merchant.
In fact the building consists of 3 houses, connected with courtyards.
But as so often, things went wrong: the Rothes were forced to leave, the house declined during the 18th & 19th Century and it was a roofles ruin in the late 19th Century!
An active programme of restoration has taken place since the Kilkenny Arch. Society purchased the nearly-derelict property in 1962.
There is now also a most wonderful COSTUME COLLECTION and so much more that makes a visit so very worthwhile....
BLACK ABBEY CATHEDRAL....
This Black Abbey ( as well as the St. Francis' Abbey & St. John's Priory) date back to mediaeval times.
The grandeur of the Abbey of the Most Holy Trinity, set in the heart of the ancient Kingdom of OSSORY, makes it one of the most revered churches in IRELAND.
Adorned by stained glass windows, pre-reformation statues and exemplary architecture, the hallowed ABBEY is one of the oldest functioning catholic churches in the country.
During its 700 year life span, it has withstood the difficulties of time and numerous crises to stay intact as a sanctuary of PRAYER, HOPE, REPENTENCE & RESOLVE.....
THE FLOWSTONE WALL.....
There are some areas in IRELAND where caves are most abundant such as: the BURREN of Co. Clare, the MARBLE ARCH area of Co. Fermanagh and the uplands or Cos. Leitrim & Sligo.
All these areas, and Dunmore, are formed of Carboniferous limestone, laid down over 300 millions of years.
Part of the interest of Dunmore Cave stems from the fact that it is the only cave of significance known in SOUTH EAST Ireland and its nearest rival in size is the MITCHELSTOWN CAVE in Co. Tipperary (SEE MY TIPPERARY PAGE......) some 50 miles away!
The largest Irish cave so far discovered, POLLNAGOLLUM, Co. Clare is over 7 miles long and the deepest is over 150 metres below the surface.
By contrast, Dunmore Cave contains less than a quarter of a mile of passages and its deepest point is only 50 metres below the entrance.
Yet, despite its modest size, the BEAUTY of its formations and its scientific and historical interest make it one of IRELAND'S MOST FASCINATING CAVERNS: which I CAN AGREE WITH........I HAVE ENJOYED THIS CAVE VERY MUCH....AND CAN RECOMMEND A VISIT WHOLEHEARTEDLY!
DUNMORE CAVE, MARKET CROSS....
This CAVE, with its imposing entrance, has been known of centuries but it is only comparatively recently that it has been fully explored and attempts have been made to unravel its history.
Until the 17th Century caves were regarded with dread and awe as being entrances to HELL, and to this day caves are still objects of mystery and fear for many people.....
From the 18th Century onwards a number of visitors, including scientists and historians, have written about this particular cave....
DUNMORE CAVE is, since 1940, in the care of the Commissioners of Public Works as a NATIONAL MONUMENT because of its historic interest.
Research on geological and historical aspects of the cave has been pursued making it one of the best documented cave sites in EUROPE.
The CAVE has a very nice VISITORS CENTRE and a SITE MUSEUM and the cave surroundings have been landscaped in a lovely way!
There are stairs, and an extensive lighting system.........no need to engane in potholing here!!!!
I would like to RECOMMEND to you the little but wonderful booklet on the cave, with pictures and explanations, also about caves in general.....
ONGOING EXHIBITIONS IN THE BUTLER GALLERY....
Kilkenny Design Centre is a wonderful place to buy gifts and souvenirs of HIGH QUALITY, it is amazing that practically all GIFT & CRAFT SHOPS only sell EXQUISITE QUALITY ITEMS......not cheap, but perfect and very worthwhile the money: GOOD VALUE...
Jewelers, woodworkers, potters and craftsmen of great skill are also to be found burrowed down many a side street, a narrow alley or a slip-way!
The ANNUAL ARTS FESTIVAL has bequeathed a terrific legacy, perhaps best exemplified by the ongoing exhibitions in the BUTLER GALLERY.
BTW The Watergate Theatre on Parliament Street regularly hosts plays that go on to grace the stages of DUBLIN.....that's what I mean.............
On the June Bank Holiday Weekend everybody with a few hours to spare heads to Kilkenny City, to see some of the world's top comedians. Catch an early show, and stay out to sample the nightlife (warning: Matt the Miller's was absolutely boiling the night I was there after a gig, literally 8 billion degrees (maybe an exaggeration), and this is a common occurrence there). The best thing to do is to start in the River Court Hotel, in the Riverview Bar, then on to your gig, and then to Matt's (cos you need a ticket nearly everywhere else).Related to:
St Mary's Church Gowran
If you decide to visit Graiguenamanagh (see earlier tip) you’ll pass through the small village of Gowran along the way. Keep an eye out for the impressive St Mary’s Church, which dates from the 13th Century on the site of a monastery. Like many of Kilkenny’s best known sites the church is run by the Office of Public Works.
The Dunmore Caves are located 10 km north of Kilkenny City on the Castlecomer Road. In these caves are some fine examples of stalactites and stalagmites as well as the largest cave column in Ireland, the Market Cross (which looks rather like a pint of beer with a hand wrapped around it). The Office of Public Works looks after the caves and there is a visitor centre, where you can learn about the history of the caves and see some of the items excavated, as well as regular tours down into the caves.
Aside from the interesting rock formations, the caves are best known as the site of a Viking massacre in the 10th century. It’s known that two ring forts in Dunmore were attacked by the Vikings and for many years it was believed the women and children had hid in the caves. Viking coins were found in the caves during an excavation in 1973 dating from the same period while the same excavation later uncovered the remains of 44 women and children. Their bones showed no sign of physical injury leading many to believe the Vikings had lit fires at the entrance of the cave in an attempt to smoke them out. Rather than face the Vikings they suffocated below ground in the dark caves.
Inistioge is a beautiful village on the banks of the River Nore in County Kilkenny. It’s located 16km south of Kilkenny City and though it consists of little more than a couple of streets around a village green, it’s a very popular place with visitors, mainly due to the scenery in the surrounding countryside.
A beautiful stone bridge crosses the River Nore at Inistioge and there are plenty of good walks along the riverbank. Just above the town is Woodstock Park from where there are great views of the town and the river.
The city has been used in many Hollywood films set in Ireland such as Circle of Friends with Chris O’ Donnell and Widow’s Peak starring Mia Farrow.
Graiguenamanagh is a beautiful, small, riverside village in eastern Kilkenny near the Carlow/Kilkenny border. It’s close enough to the towns of Carlow and New Ross and to Kilkenny City to make it n attractive place to live while commuting to work. My father grew up here and worked here for many years so it’s a village I’ve come to know very well.
Sights such as Duiske Abbey, an early 13th Century abbey which predates the town and lead to its founding, attract many visitors to Graigue. The village is overlooked by Breandon Hill, the highest mountain (or hill) in county Kilkenny.
The picturesque ruins of Jerpoint Abbey are one of Kilkenny’s most popular sites. Located 2.5 km south of the village of Thomastown, on the road to Waterford, the abbey is run by the Irish Office of Public works (OPW). The abbey was founded by the Cistercians in the 12th Century. Inside the visitor centre there is a small exhibition on Jerpoint and other nearby abbeys.
Kilfane Glen and Waterfall
I visited here on 31st March. I would love to be able to tell you about it, but it closes over the winter and doesn't re-open until 1st April. Just my luck !
The gardens are only open a few months each year (as I was unfortunate enough to discover when I first visited one winter) but I came in the summer and was delighted. Built in woodlands on the side of a steep glen, the gardens were originally created during the Romantic period and have been restored to their former glory. Some of the cool features are a cottage-style summerhouse sitting below a man-made waterfall, and variety of original statues and art.
Unless it's been particularly dry bring a good pair of walking shoes as it can get quite soggy. Also bear in mind some the garden paths are on steep inclines (although those sections can be detoured).
Sep 2.00-6.00Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Hiking and Walking
Located 7 miles north of Kilkenny city, the caves are one of the county's most popular attractions. They aren't particularly big but the guides are entertaining enough to make a visit worthwhile. The caves were untouched for hundreds of years, but on re-discovery Viking coins were found, along with the skeletons of 46 women and children thought to have been taking refuge from a Viking attack.Related to:
- Family Travel
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