Here is the next episode of my holidays in Ireland (first part here).
After a copious breakfast, we get into the bust to start our trip. Today’s programme: Kilkenny, Rock of Cashel and Waterford where we will stay for the night.
The sun is shy and is playing with clouds and rain while we are discovering Kilkenny.
Kilkenny is on the Nore river, the Smithwick beer is produced here since 1710. Kilkenny is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Ireland. Its apogee was in the XIIIth century. An Anglo-Norman family, the Butlers, took the power at the end of the XIVth century. In 1366, the statutes known as of Kilkenny prohibitted unions between Norman and Irish ones. It was alos forbidden to adopt irish custom and habits and of course to speak gaelic. The city was separated in 2 parts: Irishtown (St Canice area) and Englishtown (castle area).
We walk in the streets and start by St Canice Cathedral. This building is beautiful and we are surprised to see a round tower (we’ll see later that you find such towers in a lot of areas in Ireland). The tower is 30 meters tall and it’s the only vestige of the old monatery built in the VIth century by St Canice. The gothic cathedral is from the XIIIth century. We can’t visit it as there is a mass. Cromwell plundered it in 1650 and it was completely restored in XIXth century.
Our steps bring us to Black Abbey. This Dominican abbey was built in 1225. On part of the building was transformed into a court during the XVIth century, but it’s again a monastery nowadays.
On Parliament Street, Rothe House shows us its weird frontage (Tudor style). Then, we walk towards St Kieran’s Street where we stop in front of Kyteler’s inn. Its sign is a black cat. Alice Kyteler, the owner of this XIVth century old relay of post was condemned for sorcery in 1323. Alice and her maidservant were declared witches after the mysterious death of Alice’s 4 husbands.
We use Butter slip to reach High street. There, we are close to the Thosel and its tower (XVIIIth century). It’s the head office of the City Hall.
Then we go to the castle. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to visit it. Kilkenny castle was built in 1190 and inhabited until 1935. Of course, the Butlers lived here but the descendants of the family had some money troubles and « sold » the castle to the government in 1967 for 50 £.
But it was time for us to go to the restaurant. After lunch, we will leave for Cashel, but I’ll tell about that later…
To be continued…
Click on picture to enlarge them.