Limerick Tourist Attractions
Limerick (Luimneach, "Bare Spot"), the third city of the Republic of Ireland, lies on the River Shannon in the southwest of the country, at the point where the river begins to open out into its estuary.
This was the most westerly point where the river could be forded and round it, at the junction of busy traffic routes, a considerable town grew up. A number of main roads and railroad lines meet here, and Shannon Airport is only 15mi/24km away.Limerick has a harbor which is not particularly large but which is kept very busy. The city's main industries are flour milling, tobacco, readymade clothing, cement and steel cord. Limerick cured hams and bacon enjoy a wide reputation.Many people assume that the verse form, the "limerick," a five line verse with a humorous-satirical message, was originally conceived in the town of Limerick. However the origin of the verse is uncertain; in all probability it originated in England. On more than one occasion the term "limerick" has been ascribed to an Irish social song of the 19th century, which in numerous verses describes the adventures of Irish townspeople.In the ninth century the Danes established a base from which they could plunder the interior of the country. They were driven out by the celebrated Irish King Brian Boru, after which possession of the town alternated between the Irish and the Anglo-Normans. In 1210 King John ordered a bridge and a castle to be built here. In later centuries the town grew in size and maintained its allegiance to the English Crown. During the 17th C. it was several times besieged and captured. The last occasion was in 1691, the year of the broken treaty, when, after a valiant defense, 10,000 Irish troops were granted the right, under a treaty signed by King William of Orange himself, to march out with full military honors. The Irish nobility were granted free passage, but the English Parliament, rejecting the religious freedom guaranteed in the treaty, refused to ratify it. The Irish troops thereupon went to France and took service in the army of Louis XIV; and in the course of the next 50 years hundreds of thousands of Irishmen followed their example and entered the service of France or Spain. During the 19th century the town expanded southwestward along the banks of the Shannon.The town is made up of the older district of English Town to the north, at the junction of the Shannon and the Abbey rivers, and two districts to the south of the Abbey River, Irish Town and Newtown Pery. Here are situated better class houses and the business and banking quarter, with the principal thoroughfare O'Connell Street. In this street and in Mallow Street which branches off it there are some attractive Georgian houses.
Limerick is made up of the older district of English Town to the north, at the junction of the Shannon and the Abbey rivers, and two districts to the south of the Abbey River, Irish Town and Newtown Pery.
Crossing the Shannon on Sarsfield Bridge (1824-35) and turning right along Clancy's Strand, with a fine view of the city of Limerick, we come to Thomond Bridge.
Crossing the Shannon on Limerick's Sarsfield Bridge (1824-35) and turning right along Clancy's Strand, we come to Thomond Bridge, on the site of the first Shannon bridge built by King John. At the end of the bridge is the Treaty Stone, on which the 1691 treaty is said to have been signed.
King John's Castle
To the right of Thomond Bridge in Limerick, rising imposingly above the Shannon, stands King John's Castle (13th C.; National Monument), a pentagonal fortress with a main block, three round corner towers, a bastion and a two-story gatehouse (disfigured by 18th C. additions). It has recently been thoroughly restored. Parts of the complex now serve as exhibition rooms. The history of Ireland and of the town of Limerick are brought to life by means of reconstructed scenes. In addition there is a video display, information about the excavation of Viking houses, defensive works and siege tunnels (opening times given). Northeast of the castle, in Town Walls Playground, can be seen remains of the old town walls.
Address: Nicholas Street, Ireland
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Oct 31: 9:30am-6pm
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 10:30am-4:30pm
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 10:30am-4:30pm
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Good Friday - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Family €16.00, Adult €6.00, Students €4.50, Senior €4.50, Child €3.20
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
St Mary's Cathedral
Turning right at the end of Limerick's Castle Street into Nicholas Street, we come to St Mary's Cathedral (Church of Ireland), which preserves much 15th C. work (west doorway 12th C).
Address: Bridge Street, IRL-1 Limerick, Ireland
Opening hours: Jun 1 to Aug 31: 9am-5pm
Sep 1 to May 31: 9am-12pm
Sep 1 to May 31: 9am-12pm
St Mary's Cathedral Choir Stalls
St Mary's Cathedral in Limerick's English Town has oak choir stalls (a rare feature in Ireland), with misericords of fantastic animals, date from 1489. There are a number of notable monuments. From the tower (120ft/36m high) fine views may be enjoyed.
City Court House
In St Augustine's Place in Limerick stands the beautiful City Court House (1764).
Besides the older district of English Town, Limerick is made up of two districts to the south of the Abbey River - Irish Town and Newtown Pery.
Hunt Museum (Custom House)
To the south of Limerick's English Town, beyond Mathew Bridge, which goes across the Abbey River, is the Custom House (1769) which today houses an art gallery.Hunt Museum houses a collection of 2000 works of art and antiquities formed by John and Gertrude Hunt during their lifetimes.
Address: Rutland Street, Ireland
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Sun: 2pm-5pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Good Friday - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Family €11.43, Adult €4.95, Students €3.17, Group of 10 or more €3.17, Concession or reduced rate €3.17, Child €3.17
Facilities: Gift shop
In Michael Street 'The Granary' forms the center of a restored area of Limerick. The former grain store now houses civic archives and a library.
St John's Cathedral
At the eastern end of Limerick's Irish Town rises the Roman Catholic St John's Cathedral (1856-94), which has the tallest tower in Ireland.
St John's Square
By St John's Cathedral, at the eastern end of Limerick's Irish Town, lies St John's Square, once an elegant 18th C. residential quarter and now a protected area.
Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum (formerly Limerick City Museum)
Limerick City Museum, renamed the Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum in memory of the late Mayor, T.D. and historian, is now located at Castle Lane. The increased space allows for more display space and additional exhibitions.
Limerick is made up of the older district of English Town to the north, at the junction of the Shannon and the Abbey rivers, and two districts to the south of the Abbey River - Irish Town and Newtown Pery.
Southwest of Irish Town extend the later additions to the city of Limerick. The main street is O'Connell Street, almost 1mi/1.5km long, which is now the heart of the city. At the end of the street stands the O'Connell Monument, honoring Daniel O'Connell, who won emancipation for Irish Catholics. This part of the city is celebrated for its handsome Georgian houses with their brightly painted front doors.
A particularly fine thoroughfare in Limerick's Newtown Pery district is Mallow Street, at the east end of which is the People's Park. In the park can be found the Art Gallery (modern Irish painters).
Worth seeing in Limerick's Plassey area are the Hunt Collection and the National Institute of Higher Education.
Map of Limerick Attractions