Things to Do in Kilkenny, Ireland

Things to Do in Kilkenny, Ireland
Kilkenny is Southeast Ireland's proclaimed Medieval Capital. Be sure to come with your musical appetite as well as your thirst; there is a lively music scene among the city's 60 pubs. The city's population of 20,000 is much smaller than that of Dublin, yet its art and craft scene draws artists south from the larger city on weekends. Be sure to consider these activities during your visit.

Visit Dunmore Cave

Formed over the course of millions of years, this sequence of chambers makes up Dunmore Cave in Kilkenny County. Inside these rooms of the Earth are some of Ireland's most excellent calcite formations. This cave system has been known to man at least since 928 A.D. According to the ninth century Irish Triads, there was a Viking massacre at the cave. There are many artifacts from this event which are still turning up. It is open daily from March through October and on weekends from November to March. Admittance is by guided tour only. There is an exhibition area, cafe and audiovisual presentation area when during daily tour season. Photography and video are not allowed inside the cave.

Dunmore Cave
Castlecomer Road
Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny
+353 56 776 7726
dunmorecaves@opw.ie

Explore by Bicycle

Bikes are an efficient, inexpensive and green way to get around. Not only can you cover the entire easily navigable town center in just a few hours on foot. By bicycle, you can make time to visit some historic sites like the Gothic-Victorian Kilkenny Castle built in 1172 on 50 acres. Take the time to go to the Rothe House; it's a medieval complex with stone-walled courtyards that holds a collection of Bronze age artifacts. You'll also want to see St. Canice's Cathedral, the country's second largest Gothic cathedral and one of its finest. Rent your bike at J.J. Wall. Call 056/772-1450 for information on Kilkenny Castle tours, 056/772-2893 to contact a genealogical research facility at Rothe House and 056/772-4971 to contact the cathedral.

J.J Wall
88 Maudlin Street
Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny
056/772-1236

Stroll Through Black Abbey

The 13th-century, carved stone abbey is proclaimed by many to be one of the most evocative and beautiful Irish medieval structures. The stained-glass alone is well worth a visit. A five-gabled Rosary Window--constructed in 1340--gives a ruby and cobalt glow which illustrates the life of Christ. The abbey got its name from an order of Dominican monks that wore black capes and resided there in 1225. The abbey has since been restored by the order as a church, and it's still owned by the Roman Catholic Church. That's somewhat of a rarity since most are owned by the Anglican Church of Ireland. Black Abbey is a place you may visit without taking out your wallet. It is located just south of St. Canice's Cathedral.

Black Abbey
South of St. Canice's Cathedral
Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny
056/772-1279

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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