Kilkenny Tourist Attractions
Kilkenny is considered by many to be second only to Dublin in its attraction for visitors. Its narrow winding streets lend it an atmosphere of old world charm; its terraces of handsome Georgian houses give it elegance; and with all this it is a busy modern town and market center for a fertile agricultural area.
A church was built here in the sixth century by St Canice. In pre-Norman times it was the seat of the kings of Ossory, and later it passed into the hands of the Ormonds. During the 14th C. a number of parliaments met in Kilkenny, including the one in 1366 which passed the infamous Statute of Kilkenny. This made it high treason for an Anglo-Norman (i.e. an Englishman settled in Ireland) to marry an Irishwoman, adopt Irish customs, speak Irish or wear Irish dress, and prohibited Irishmen from living in a walled town. Although rigorously enforced, the statute failed in its object of preventing the assimilation of Anglo-Normans and Irish. From 1642 to 1648 the town was the seat of the Confederation of Kilkenny, an independent Irish parliament which brought together both the Old Irish and the Anglo-Irish Catholics; later, however, the Confederation split into two camps and the Anglo-Irish allied themselves with the English. In 1650 Cromwell took the town, and the Irish garrison was allowed to march out with full honors.From time immemorial Kilkenny has been divided into three districts of wards - Irishtown, with the cathedral as its central landmark; High Town to the south, dominated by Kilkenny Castle; and on the other bank of the River Nore the eastern district, with St John's Priory.
From time immemorial Kilkenny has been divided into three districts of wards - Irishtown, with the cathedral as its central landmark; High Town to the south, dominated by Kilkenny Castle; and on the other bank of the River Nore the eastern district, with St John's Priory.
From time immemorial Kilkenny has been divided into three districts of wards - High Town to the south, Irishtown, and on the other bank of the River Nore the eastern district, with St John's Priory.The western and eastern districts of Kilkenny are linked by two bridges spanning the River Nore, John's Bridge and Green Bridge, rebuilt after a disastrous flood in 1763.
From the important street intersection at Shee's Almshouse John's Bridge leads into Lower John Street. In this street is Kilkenny College, a handsome Georgian building of 1782, successor to St John's College (founded 1666), which counted Jonathan Swift and George Berkeley among its pupils.
St John's Priory
Across the street from Kilkenny College on Lower John Street is St John's Priory (13th C., National Monument). Of the church there survives only the chancel, with beautiful windows and capitals; the Lady Chapel (rebuilt 1817) is still used for worship.
Kilkenny Arts Festival
This annual festival takes place in mid-August, offering a wide variety of events. Events include classical music performances, as well as visual arts exhibitions, poetry readings, theatrical productions, and more modern rock, jazz and country concerts. The main events are held in Kilkenny Castle and St Canice's Cathedral, while fringe events are held in venues throughout the town.
Map of Kilkenny Attractions