Beautiful Castles of Ireland
Ireland has had a long and troubled history. One still visible effect of that is the no. of Castles in Ireland, especially ruined ones.
All of them share a certain beauty, oft set in stunning locations. Here are my favourite Irish Castles. Some of theses Castles are Hotels, tourist attractions and indeed private homes.
Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland.
Ross Castle, situated on the edge of Lough Lein in Killarney, is the ancestral home of the O’Donoghue’s, it was built in the 1500′s. It is typical of the style fortified house of a Gaelic Chieftain of that period. Very few of these houses survived, as they were destroyed by the English army. Ross Castle was turned in to a barracks, in the 1640′s and remained so, till the 19th C. There is a legend that O’Donoghue leaped or was sucked out of the window of the grand chamber at the top of the castle and disappeared into the waters of the lake along with his horse, his table and his library. It is said that O’Donoghue now lives in a great palace at the bottom of the lake where he keeps a close eye on the area.
Trim Castle, Offally, Ireland.
Trim Castle in Meath, a Norman fortification built in the 11th C. by the De Lacy family. It is more widely know today, for its use in the Film “Braveheart”. At over 30,000 square meters it is one of the largest castles in Ireland. It is open to the public, and guided tours are available. The Castle was sold by the Dunsany family to the state in the 90′s.
Ashford Castle, Mayo, Ireland.
Probably the most famous Castle Hotel in Ireland, Ashford Castle is located in Cong, an area of exceptional beauty. The Castle was home to John Wayne and Maureen o’Hara, when they were filming “The Quiet Man”. It has had many famous guests from Bill Clinton, to Pierce Brosnan and the Reagans. It is a fice star hotel and every corner of it is filled with antiques spanning centuries. Ashford Castle was built in 1228 bt the De Burgo family.
Cahir Castle, Tipperary, Ireland.
Built by Connor o’ Brien, the Prince of Thomond in the 11th C. The o’Brien family were the leading family of their time in Irish politics, and were so for many hundreds of years after. The Castle was laid siege to 4 times in 400 years, and often changed hands. With one of the last times (1647) being by Murrough o’Brien, Baron Inchiquin, a direct descendent of the builder, but also a prominent traitor in Irish history. In 1961, the last Lord Cahir died and the Castle was given over to State ownership. It is the best preserved Castle in Ireland. Tours are available
Bunratty Castle, Clare, Ireland.
Alongside the castle is an extensive folk park, particularly popular with families, tourists and schools.A glimpse into Irish life in the 19th century: This features reconstructions of historical cottages and buildings, recreating the general feel of the 19th century with a period style village main street. Old tools, furniture and artifacts are displayed, with the village kept alive by some inhabited shops, an old home bakery and peat fires in cottages. The Castle has a popular medieval Banquet as well, where visitors can dress in costume, enjoy medieval dishes and music of the period.
Blarney Castle, Cork, Ireland.
Probably the most well known Castle in Ireland, due to the presence of the Blarney Stone in its upper walls. Kissing of the stone, is said to give the gift of the gab, the ability to speak eloquently and persuasively. Blarney Castle as a tourist attraction is more than just the Castle itself, there is also a period manner house, wonderful gardens and pre-historic archaeological sites on the site grounds.
I hope that you get to visit all these castles of Ireland at some stage of your holiday in Ireland. Why not also look
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