Kissing Up To Cork
Posted on August 26, 2011 by sguese
If you tell a local of Cork that Ireland’s capital city is Dublin, they might snicker and sneer at you. Set on the south coast of Ireland, the city of Cork adorns an attitude of greatness. Not to be confused with snobbery, Cork has good reason to think it could rival Dublin. The largest city in the province of Munster mainly isolates itself from the rest of the world. As the River Lee flows through the city, the majority of Cork winds up on an island, linked by bridges. The Venice of Ireland some might say is truly proud of just about everything it gives off.
Beginning a visit to Cork, you may want to get a lay of the land. What better place to do so than St. Anne’s Church. The quintessential Cork landmark was constructed in 1722. Perched on a hill overlooking the entire city, travellers can catch a glimpse of Cork in its entirety. St. Anneâ€™s admires Cork with her 360-degree view of the city. Other churches and structures in Cork scream for attention. The Holy Trinity Church remains a fixture in town, designed by the Pain brothers in 1834. The only trace of medieval Cork stands at the Red Abbey Tower, a 14th century Augustinian priory. The Tower serves as the city’s only remaining medieval building.
What is more thrilling than sliced bread? Butter to slather on top from Cork. The Cork Butter Museum may not sound riveting, but the venue tells a mouth-watering story. The Cork Butter Museum recounts the Irish success in the butter trade. Much of Cork’s prosperity stemmed from the butter trade in the 18th century. The next time you spread butter across a piece of bread, think of Cork. At one point in time, the city had the largest butter market in the entire world.
From butter to beer, Cork’s tastes are rich and diverse. The Beamish & Crawford Brewery offers up tours and tastings to visitors as one of the city’s s great additions. The Beamish & Crawford Brewery guzzles with the reminder that it is the most ancient porter brewery in all of Ireland. Sobering up, visitors can take in the city’s English Market to soak up food and all of that alcohol. The covered market teams with a lively persona, selling fruit, vegetables, meats, fish and cheeses.
Filling up on beer and butter may leave you hungry for something other than food. Cork claims a rivalry with Dublin in the culture department. In 2005, the city was named the European Capital of Culture. This could be in part due to the city’s museums. The Crawford Municipal Art Gallery conquers with some 2,000 pieces of art. 18th century Irish and European paintings and sculptures fill the building. In addition, travellers will find a number of Greek and Roman sculptures.
While Cork doesn’t fall short in the entertainment department, one of Ireland’s most visited attractions looms outside the city. Travellers that hire a car in Cork can reach the Blarney Castle, just 5 miles northwest of Cork. Built on and off between 1210 and 1446, the Blarney Castle exudes a pride from being one of Ireland’s oldest castles. Rather than just admiring the castle, visitors are encouraged to give it a big smooch. The Blarney Castle is known for it Stone of Eloquence. Those that kiss it are believed to suddenly bestow eloquence. No breath mints are required for this exchange.
As citizens call Cork the true capital of Ireland, visitors may start to agree. The budding art, music, and restaurant scene certainly appears like that of a capital. However, there is only one capital of Ireland. Cork can only dream, probably of beer, butter, and kissing stones.
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