Deriving its name from the Irish root of Cill Chainnigh, Kilkenny situated in the south east part of Ireland is both a county town and a city.



Kilkenny through the eyes of history

Kilkenny, built on two banks of the Nore River, has a rich historical background that can be traced back to the early parts of the 6th century. The original “burgh” here became a merchant town after the Normans invaded it and eventually built the Kilkenny Castle here. The place was officially elevated to the position of a town with the charter of 1207, which was granted by the then Lord of Leinster, William Marshall.

Kilkenny was finally recognised as a city in the seventeenth century, when it got a Royal Charter in 1609, granted by the King himself. The area had its fair share of popularity in the late 17th century as a brewing centre; and there has been no dwindling of tourists to this beautiful place in modern times.

Historical Architecture and Attractions

Kilkenny’s rich heritage is evident with the presence of buildings made during the medieval times which still hold their grandeur and do not fail to draw tourists.

The Kilkenny Castle: Made by the Normans, on their occupation of this area, the castle took nine years to make during the thirteenth century. It was an important defence site, along with the Kilkenny Walls. The square shaped castle with 3 of its 4 circular towers still stand upright today. This property is now owned by the state and displays part of the National Art Gallery. A stroll in the ornamental gardens in the castle grounds is an experience that should not be missed, during a visit here.

The Kilkenny Walls: The main purpose for constructing these walls during the thirteenth century was to protect the town from invasions. One can still see parts of these walls, such as the Talbot Tower.

St Canice’s Cathedral: Made in the English Gothic style, this second longest cathedral in Ireland is named after Saint Canice. The facade of the cathedral is made with limestones and one can see black marble columns that take the weight of a low central tower. Spires and gables are also part of the cathedral’s architecture.

Green’s Bridge: The Green’s Bridge on the River Nore is considered an architectural marvel due to its intelligent engineering that dates back to the twelfth century. However, the bridge saw many upgradations and rebuilts since then, and the one that can be seen now was made in the eighteenth century.

Apart from these four landmarks, the other places are interesting and worth visiting would be St Mary’s Cathedral, Roth House and St John’s priory. If you are a music lover then try to make your trip to Kilkenny around the Rhythm and Roots festival that celebrates music, it will be an additional cherry on the cake!

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