Steeped in medieval architecture and a
strong tradition in the arts and crafts, Kilkenny (Population 18, 696) is a
popular tourist destination.
It is situated 71 miles south west of Dublin on the banks of the River Nore.
Kilkenny was made a city by James I in 1609. In fact, Anglo-Norman parliaments
were held there between 1293 and 1408 and between 1642 and 1648. However, at the
time of writing, the city is set to be downgraded to a town.
Kilkenny Castle dominates the centre of the town. It was built in 1195 by
William Marshall, the son-in-law of Strongbow, the Norman conqueror of Ireland,
to replace a wooden fortress built by Strongbow in 1172. It was bought in 1391
by the Butler family, the Earls and Dukes of Ormonde, and it was lived in by
descendants of the Butlers until 1935.
Saint Canice’s Cathedral (c. 1251). There is a round tower beside the
cathedral that dates back to between 700 and 1000 AD. For a small fee, you can
climb to the top and admire the view.
The Cat Laughs annual comedy festival, held during the bank holiday weekend at
the start of June, is very popular.
Also popular is the Kilkenny Arts Week festival in late August.
How to get there:
Bus Eireann runs seven buses a day to Dublin, and there are four trains a day