Information Kilkenny Ireland


Welcome To Kilkenny!

Famous for its arts and heritage, Kilkenny is one of Irelands favorite tourist destinations.

Known as 'The Marble City', Kilkenny contains some of the best preserved medieval structures such as Kilkenny Castle, Rothe House, and Canices Cathedral, architectural treasures which give the city an ambience and character like no other.

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The River Nore can be found in Kilkenny, and dominating it on one of its bends is Kilkenny Castle. The castle has a Victorian library and the Long Gallery, which has a number of portraits on display of residents and owners of the castle over the centuries. The site has been in use and built upon since the time of Strongbow’s arrival in 1172 who recognised a strategic importance in having a presence there. Oliver Cromwell attacked the castle too half a millennium later.

Nearby is Kilkenny town. Other features worthy of note in County Kilkenny include Jerpoint Abbey ten miles from the town on the N10 followed by the N9. It is a Cistercian ruin, the most impressive of its kind to be found on the island of Ireland. The statuary at the twelfth century ruin includes stone carvings of angels and saints that are atypically comical in some respects when compared with similar medieval artwork found elsewhere. Indeed, the carvings – situated in arches and between pillars – have an almost cartoonish quality.

Across the road from Kilkenny Castle, back nearer the town, stands the Kilkenny Design Centre, where you may find other carvings and statuary of a more modern ilk – the design centre is a converted stable house and a career vehicle for artists and craftspeople, featuring as it does wares that include textiles, furniture, jewellery and other crafts, locally produced and often traditional in nature, often not.

Dunmore Cave is some distance north of Kilkenny town on the N77 and N78. It contains statuary too, this time carved out by nature. The Market Cross at seven metres in length is thought to be the tallest stalagmite in Europe (although could of course be taller ones beneath the Earth’s surface yet to be seen by man).

St Canice’s Cathedral is a thirteenth century building built over St Canice’s monastery which it replaced. Flanked by a round tower that pre-dates the cathedral by (some say) five hundred years, the top of the tower can be reached by a wooden staircase to provide a great view of the surrounding area.


Kilkenny County

One of the most attractive tourist destinations in Ireland, Kilkenny derives it name from the Irish name, “Cill Chainnigh” which when translated means - Cell or church of Cainnech/ Canice. Kilkenny sees a broad variation in climate owing to its wide river valleys in the region. The climate is usually windy, but changes a lot. Temperatures too, go the extreme way, both in the summer and winter. The culture of Kilkenny is also rich and is beautifully reflected through its fantastic traditional Irish music.

Accommodation in Kilkenny County

Kilkenny County offers visitors a wide variety of accommodation options that cater to their taste, budget and preference.

Kilkenny Hotels

Hotels in Kilkenny are among the best in Ireland and provide guests with modern facilities to make their stay a memorable one. The hotels in Kilkenny that feature among the best are Hotel Kilkenny, Kilkenny Rivercourt, Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny Hiberian Hotel, Pembroke Hotel Kilkenny, Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel and many others.

Kilkenny Bed & Breakfast

• Bed & Breakfast Guest House accommodation in Kilkenny offers you tasty and healthy breakfast of your preference and in an ambiance that defines Irish hospitality. Some of the best B&B guest houses in Kilkenny are Butler House, San Antonio, and Laurels Guesthouse.
• Bed & Breakfast Homes : Complete with a true Irish ambiance, the well-known bed and breakfast homes in Kilkenny include Celtic House, Oldtown Farmhouse, Twin Oaks and many more.

Restaurants in Kilkenny

Kilkenny is a well-known culinary destination and the restaurants in Kilkenny offer an amazing array of delicacies, some with an international flavor, while the others specialize in delicacies unique to the region. Dining out in Kilkenny is a experience in itself and some of the best place to dine are Ripleys Steakhouse, Cafe Sol Kilkenny City and Sol Bistro Thomastown, Long Man of Kilfane, and Ming Court.

Tourist Attractions and Activities in Kilkenny

Some of the popular tourist attractions in Kilkenny include Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice's Cathedral, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Black Abbey, Grace’s Castle, Watergate Theatre, Butler House, Kilkenny Town Hall, Kells Priory and Dunmore Cave. Visitors can also enjoy Golf and a number of adventure sports like angling, sailing, horse riding and a few more unusual ones.

Attractions Kilkenny Ireland

Dunmore Cave - Ballyfoyle

History and geology blend at Dunmore Cave to give an interesting and unique situation. Consisting of a series of chambers formed over millions of years, the cave contains some of the finest calcite formations found in any Irish cave. The cave has been known to man for many centuries and is first mentioned in the 9th century Irish Triads. The most interesting reference however, comes from the Annals which tells of a Viking massacre at the cave in the year 928 A.D.. Exhibitions and displays in the Visitor Centre. The cave is inaccessible for wheelchair users

Jerpoint Abbey Thomastown - Kilkenny

An outstanding Cistercian abbey founded in the second half of the 12th century. The church with its Romanesque details dates from this period. In the transept chapels the visitor can see 13th - 16th century tomb sculpture. The tower and cloister date from the 15th century. The chief delight of the Abbey is the sculptured cloister arcade with unique carvings. The Visitor Centre houses an interesting exhibition.

Kilkenny Castle - Kilkenny

A 12th century castle remodelled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands which was the principal seat of the Butler family, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde. Due to major restoration works, the central block now includes a library, drawing room, and bedrooms decorated in 1830s splendour as well as the beautiful Long Gallery. The old Castle kitchen operates as a tea room during the summer. A suite of former servants' rooms is the Butler Art Gallery, which mounts frequently changing exhibitions of contemporary art.

St. Mary's Church - Gowran

This collegiate church, was built in the late 13th century on the site of an earlier monastery. It was served by a "college" - clerics who lived in a community but who did not submit to the rule of a monastery. They lived in a house, now destroyed, beside the church. The church was a large and elaborate structure, with an aisled nave (the main part of the church where the congregation sat) and a long chancel (the section of the church where the altar was placed) and has high quality architectural sculpture used throughout. In the late middle ages a massive tower was inserted between the nave and chancel, and in the 19th century this tower was incorporated into the parish church which was built in place of the chancel and which now takes up about half of the building. There were also several other changes made to the church at various periods

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