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Sight Seeing Kilkenny.

Medieval Kilkenny is regarded as one of Ireland's finest cities, boasting something for everyone: History, architecture, crafts, sports and is host to many festivals.

Of historical interest are Kilkenny's Castle, Cathedrals and churches with many monastic settlements and Abbeys scattered around the county. Most notable are Jerpoint Abbey near Thomastown and the village of Kells 10 miles from the city.

Kilkenny's location is ideally suited if you wish to travel the South East of Ireland with many other towns and cities of interest within easy travelling distance. We are only 2 hours from Dublin and Dún Laoghaire and 62 miles from Rosslaire harbour.

Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny Castle is a twelfth century castle remodelled in Victorian times and set in large parklands. It was once the principal seat of the Butler family who were Earls, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde.

The east wing mainly comprises the Long Gallery, built in the nineteenth century, which houses the Butler family collection of portraits and tapestries. Other rooms in this wing are also open to visitors, including the modern Butler Art Gallery and the old castle kitchen, which operates as a tea room in the summer. Due to extensive restoration works, the central block now includes a library, drawing room and bedrooms decorated in 1830s splendour.

St Canice's Cathedral

This 13th century cathedral is the second longest cathedral in Ireland. The site on which the Cathedral Stands has been a site of Christian worship since the 6th century. The cathedral has necesitated many restorations during its life. The first by bishop Ledrede in 1332 after the central tower collapsed from an over application of lead by William outlaw as penance for being an accomplce of Dame Alice Kytler, accused of witchcraft.

Rothe House

The Rothes came to Ireland from Yorkshire in the fourteenth century, and subsequently acquired wealth and influence in Kilkenny. Rothe House was built by John Rothe Fitz-Piers (1560-1620) in 1594, when the Italian Renaissance was at it's height and Shakespeare was thirty years old and was writing Richard III. The house was built in three parts,which Rothe referred to as the first, second and third houses. John Rothe married Rose Archer, daughter of another leading Kilkenny dynasty and they lived in style and comfort with their family of four sons and eight daughters.

The house is traditionally linked with the National Ecclesiastical Assembly convened by Bishop Rothe, who was a cousin of John Rothe, in May 1642. This meeting was attended by all the Catholic Bishops of Ireland and it led to the formation of the Parliament of the Confederation in October 1642. The Rothe family paid dearly for their association with the Confederacy. The house was confiscated and the Rothe family transplanted to Connaught in 1653. The house was returned to the Rothes in 1660 after the restoration of CharlesII. Rothe House finally passed from the family in 1691.

The building became a school in the 18th century and among it's distinguished pupils were the Banim brothers, in one of whose novels the house is described. By the end of the 19th century the second and third houses were roofless. A successful branch of the Gaelic League was established and in the early years of the present century Rothe House became a centre of Gaelic Culture and Nationalist activity.

The house was bought by Kilkenny Archaeological Society in 1962, restored and opened as a museum in 1966.

In 1760, a magnificent coach house and stables were built for Kilkenny Castle, seat of the Duke of Ormond. Today, the entrance building, with its arched gateway and copper domed clock-tower, is a landmark in this mediaeval city and is now home to one of the finest shops in Ireland - the Kilkenny Design Centre.

The Kilkenny Design Centre is a delight, both in ambience and in style. Here, under one roof, you will find the very best of Irish design and workmanship, carefully selected from over 200 studios and workshops around the country. Everything has been selected with genuine craftsmanship and value in mind.

You will find ladies and gents clothing, crystal, ceramics, linens and a wide range of interesting gift items.

Click on image to visit Kilkenny Tourism Website.

Canice's Steps Kilkenny Castle Canice's Cathedral Rothe House Rodini B and B. Waterford Road, Kilkenny Tourists
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