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Sightseeing in Kilkenny - what to see. Complete travel guide

Consider visiting the wonderful city of Kilkenny during your adventure in Ireland. This is a relatively small settlement. Despite this fact, Kilkenny is an authentic Irish city with its unique atmosphere, and this is the reason why it has won love and dedication of foreign tourists. Moreover, this city is rich in landmarks – Kilkenny is the second after Dublin in terms of the number of attractions. Needless to say, the city’s architecture deserves the attention of travelers. Kilkenny’s interesting winding streets, elegant Gregorian houses, and buildings made from black limestone look nothing but fabulous.
According to a local legend, the name of the city derived from Cill Chainnigh that meant “Chainnigh’s Church”. In the 6th century, a monk settled in this territory. He decided to build an abbey here. When the building was ready, people started settling near it. This is how a new settlement named Kilkenny appeared. During the period of Norman invasions, the settlement was divided into two parts – an English and Irish one. The two parts were merged only in the 40s of the 19th century. At that time, a giant castle owned by the Butler family starting from the 14th century was the main landmark of the city.
Kilkenny remained an impenetrable fortress for a long time. At the beginning of the 17th century, it officially received the town status. When a rebellion emerged in Ireland, the country’s parliament moved to Kilkenny. Starting from 1641, the city became the capital of the Irish country. Nine years later, General Cromwell and his army captured the fortress that was impenetrable in the past. After this, the region became a safe and peaceful place. The first railroad appeared in Kilkenny in the mid-19th century. Copyright
Naturally, it is not possible to visit this Irish city and forget to see the main pride of the region – the castle with the same name. This gorgeous building is located on the bank of the River Nore. Starting from the 12th century, the castle was a protective stronghold. Two centuries later, it became a property of the Butler family that made the building their residence. This family was powerful and very influential, so other people in the region were respecting the Butlers and a bit scared of them. The family remained the owners of the castle for six centuries. However, the Butlers passed the castle to the national committee that restored similar buildings in the 60s of the 20th century. Kilkenny Castle was deserted and damaged at that time.
Nowadays, Kilkenny Castle is completely restored and is open to the general public. It has become a popular tourist destination. Residents and guests of the city are welcome to visit it and see an interesting collection of various artifacts that date back to different epochs. A beautiful garden surrounds the castle. This is a fabulous place to take a stroll and admire gorgeous fountains.
Do you want to see a real Irish shrine? For this purpose, visit the St Canice's Cathedral built in the 13th century. This is the second-largest Catholic church in Ireland. The gorgeous building is an amazing example of the Gothic style. Tourists visit this church to see the mesmerizing old sculptures and gorgeous mosaics that cover walls of the famous cathedral. The cathedral has undergone many restorations over the centuries. Despite this fact, St Canice's Cathedral still has its original and fabulous look.
There is a tall round-shaped tower close to the main building. This tower has the same style and forms an interesting architectural ensemble with the main building of the cathedral. The tower was built in the 9th century but it is still in a nearly ideal condition. Tourists are welcome to get to the top of the tower and enjoy the panoramic view of Kilkenny from a special viewing platform. This is a picture-perfect area with striking views of the Irish surroundings.
There is one more interesting landmark in Kilkenny – the Black Abbey. This monastery was founded in the 20s of the 13th century. The monastery got this unusual name because of the color of the robes that monks were wearing. Their robes were so dark that local people were a bit scared of them. Locals were even calling the monks “the brothers of darkness”. The abbey was restored several times, but there are still original elements such as the foundation, nave, and several tombstones. In recent years, there have been attempts to restore the old abbey. That being said, the abbey is open and many people come here to admire its beauty or to pray. Tourists can spend much time looking at the big stained-glass windows.
The most popular way to get to Kilkenny is to fly to Dublin which is situated one hundred and seventeen kilometers from this Irish city. After that, get on a bus that will take you directly to Kilkenny. Naturally, there are trains that connect these two cities. There are roughly seven trains from Dublin to Kilkenny every day. The journey time is approximately two hours on every means of transport. The railway station is situated not far from the city center, so it is easy to reach it on foot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Kilkenny and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Kilkenny
♥   Castle 'Kilkenny Castle' , 0.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Burnchurch Castle' , 9.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Foulksrath Castle' , 11.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Shankill Castle' , 15.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'White’s Castle' , 18.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Kilkenny from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Hook Head Lighthouse

From the series “Top 15 Most Fascinating Lighthouses”
The Hook Lighthouse is located on the island with the same name. An experienced travelers advice to visit it in summer. The old lighthouse has an outstanding modern tradition – every year there is celebrated the most mysterious holiday – Halloween. At that day there is placed a real costume procession and if you are a fan of the adrenaline rush, you have to be there. In the beginning of the 21st century, the lighthouse became available for tourists. Nowadays it is among the ten oldest lighthouses of the planet and the historical landmark of global significance. … Read further

Fulachtai Fia

From the series “15 Historical Monuments, with Riddles not yet Solved”
The most popular and visited mound is located in the Irish National Heritage Park. This park has an outstanding open-air museum. There you can see how people lived thousand years ago. There has placed an interesting archaeological collection of showpieces, household items that were used by people in different times. Note that on the territory of the park you can order an interesting excursion. The experienced guide will acquaint you the ancient mounts too. … Read further

Sightseeing in Ireland: things to see

Bunratty is the youngest, but no less popular castle in Ireland. It was built just a couple of centuries ago, but was made in elegant style of early medieval. One of the castle’s halls is used for theatre performances. Various banquets and entertaining performances are also not rare in the castle. Castlerock is one more interesting historic place. Long time ago there was a castle on the rock. That castle was used for crowning ceremonies, most important meetings and events. In the beginning of the 17th century the castle was destroyed by a fire and now only ruins remind of the beautiful building. … Open
Car rental on Rentals in Kilkenny

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Sightseeing in regions nearby Kilkenny

All about Kilkenny, Ireland - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with - find out the 'must see' things in Kilkenny, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Kilkenny in few days. - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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