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Kilkenny Castle - Ireland's Greatest Castle


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Kilkenny Castle - Ireland's Greatest Castle


In order to plunge into the medieval atmosphere, it is not necessary to invent a time machine (although this would not be amiss): just visit Ireland with its castles, cathedrals, abbeys and monasteries. Probably no country in the world can boast the same number of buildings of the eleventh to 15th centuries that have survived to this day.

One of these architectural monuments is Kilkenny Castle, which is located on the picturesque bank of the Nor River near the town of the same name Kilkenny. Arouse genuine interest, arouse historical curiosity, think about how it was then, delight with its size and style - all of this can Kilkenny Castle.

Construction History

The history of the castle begins in the middle of the 9th century: in 840, the O'Carrol clan built the estate here. In 1172, Richard de Clair added the Norman Tower. Earl of Pembroke William Marshall decided to combine all the buildings and create a powerful stone citadel. The construction was completed in 1215 - this year and is considered the year of foundation of Kilkenny Castle. The shape that the count intended was preserved today: the castle is a rectangular structure with a tower on each corner.

In 1391 the castle was acquired by the Butler clan, which became its full owners for a long six hundred years. For the first two and a half years, life in Kilkenny was calm and measured, until in the 17th century James Butler began to rule the clan. He was a Protestant: this helped James during the Civil War to appear in the army of King Charles I and break out into the commanders. While his headquarters were located in Dublin, the castle was seized by Catholic rebels and housed the Irish Confederation community here. The army of Oliver Cromwell, who had the goal of suppressing the Irish Catholics, besieged the castle in 1650, and the battles caused significant damage to the structure.

The family did not have money for restoration until the 19th century, while Walter Butler sold part of his profitable business to the state. With these funds, the castle was restored in its original appearance.

In 1967, the Marquis Arthur Butler sold the estate to the state for an implausible minuscule amount - 50 pounds. So the castle ceased to be a tribal nest of the Butler clan and became the property of the state.

Relics of Kilkenny

Tourists and locals admire not only the impressive appearance of the structure, but also what is inside it:

  • Art collections
  • Antique stucco moldings
  • Antique relics
  • Living room and library, decorated in the same style.
  • The walls of the castle are decorated with portraits and paintings from the collection of the Ormond family. Many works belong to the brush of Dutch artists
  • Tapestry room
  • Rich decoration.

The garden surrounding the castle is also worthy of the attention of travelers: it includes fountains and sculptures, which are more than three hundred years old. Every year, the best landscape designers of the county come up with original compositions of flowers and plants.

Interesting Facts

  • In the 17th century, the Great Hall of the castle was the seat of Parliament
  • The construction is located in one of the most vibrant areas of Kilkenny
  • James Butler, who returned from the war in the 1650s, tried to rebuild the castle in a European manner, but due to lack of funds, nothing came of it. Perhaps fortunately?

The object belongs to castles.

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