Top 5 attractions in Cork city

photo by Andrew Wood

Cork is Southwestern Ireland’s answer to Dublin, and depending on who you ask, the one is most decidedly better than the other. Long-standing rivalries between Dubliners and Corkonians aside, Cork is the kind of Irish city that you just cannot afford not to visit if you want to take a really good look to the country. Nightlife, shopping and the number of sights in Cork are second only to the capital. As a city with a long history that dates back to the times of St Finbarr (the city actually grew around a monastery founded by the Saint), and from a slow-growing merchant town in the Middle Ages it turned into one of the most cosmopolitan and developed cities in Ireland. While away your holiday enjoying the fast rhythm of Irish urban life and don’t forget to visit the top 5 attractions in Cork city.

St Fin Barre’s Cathedral

The most splendid cathedral in the city is dedicated to its patron saint, Saint Finbarr. The cathedral is not the oldest religious building in Cork, but it is one of the most important for the Catholics who live in the city. The cathedral was completed in the 19th century, and it is famous for its organ, as well as for its elegant Gothic architecture.

Elizabeth Fort

photo by William Murphy

Elizabeth Fort is a bit hard to find, but as one of the most important historical landmarks around, it is definitely in the top 5 attractions in Cork City. The 17th century fort was built outside the city walls in order to protect Cork, and it affords a breath-taking panorama encompassing the whole city. The fort is in very good shape, and it often hosts seasonal events and festivals.

Lewis Glucksman Gallery

The modern art gallery on the campus of the University College Cork is one of the most stunning pieces of modern architecture in Ireland, and it is also home to a very good collection of contemporary art by Irish and foreign artists. The gallery has three floors displaying themed temporary collections, and you can always be sure that you’ll get to admire the best contemporary art there is.

Cork City Gaol

photo by William Murphy

Cork City Gaol used to be a very wretched place while it operated as a prison, since the times of the famine well into the 20th century. Despite the obvious misery that the inmates must have endured, the jail is a very impressive Georgian Gothic architecture. The prison has been restored and open to visitors, and many of the cells have their original furniture as well as lifelike wax statues.

The Lough of Cork

The area around the Lough of Cork is a pleasant place if you want a breath of fresh air, and it is also a designated bird sanctuary where you can see dozens of swans swimming lazily on the lake. Those with an interest in Cork’s haunted site will want to look carefully into the water, as it’s said that ancient ghosts can sometimes be seen in it!

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