There are many reasons to visit castles in Ireland, a country with a long history and rich culture. We love castles, because they are part of our history and represent the power and greatness of the old feudal lords. Although today most of the castles are in ruins, many are still impressive places to visit. Below we will tell you about some of the oldest castles in Ireland so you can plan a visit if you wish.
The first place is occupied by the Rock of Cashel Castle, also known as St. Patrick's Rock, located in the homonymous town in County Tipperary. This monument dates back to the 12th century and was built by Cistercian order on rocky ground rising majestically from the surrounding plain. It is an architectural complex made up of various buildings , among which the Cathedral of San Patricio stands out. The castle was inhabited for centuries by different noble families and also housed an Irish Parliament in the 18th century. It is currently one of the most visited monuments in the country, and it is possible to access it for a small fee.
Second on our list is Bunratty Castle, located in the Borough of Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare. This castle dates back to the 15th century and was built by order of the O'Brien clan to protect themselves from Norman attacks. Although today it is rebuilt, its original structure has been preserved and it is possible to visit it to see what this place was like in the past. Inside there are numerous objects belonging to that time that give it a very authentic touch . It should be noted that the castle is also home to Cranmer Hall, a concert hall where you can enjoy recitals and concerts of traditional Irish music.
Third, we have Blarney Castle located in County Cork. This monument dates back to the 15th century and was built by order of the McCarthy clan to protect themselves from English attacks. It is an imposing fortress made up of various towers and walls that reach a considerable height. The most characteristic feature of this place is undoubtedly the "Kissing Stone", a rock located at the top of one of the towers that you have to climb to be able to kiss it and thus achieve the "gift" of eloquence, according to n the tradition. Currently the castle is one of the most visited monuments in Ireland, being possible to access it for a small fee. These are just some examples of the oldest castles you can find in Ireland, but they are certainly three of the most interesting places that are worth visiting if you like this type of monument.
Fourth, Dublin Castle is located in the heart of the Irish capital's old town and is an essential monument for any visitor. The castle was built by the Normans in the year 1171 and since then it has been the residence of many of the English monarchs who have inhabited Ireland. Dublin Castle is an imposing and majestic fortress, with its four towers and stone walls. If you are going to visit this country with a "host family in Dublin", we recommend that you take advantage of the trip and pay a visit to this impressive castle. During your visit, you will be able to see some of the most luxurious and splendid rooms, such as the Throne Room or the Great Hall. You can also visit the Botanical Garden, which is located on top of one of the castle's towers. From the garden you can enjoy magnificent views of Dublin's Old Town and if you're lucky you might even see the Royal Guards ceremoniously changing shifts outside the main gate of the castle.
And finally, we will talk about Kilkenny Castle, which is located in the town of Kilkenny, in the southeast of Ireland. This castle was built over 800 years ago and was for a long time the residence of the Marquesses of Ormonde, an important Irish aristocratic family. The castle is surrounded by magnificent gardens and has five towers, luxurious rooms and splendid halls. From the garden of Kilkenny Castle you can enjoy stunning views of the River Nore and the medieval old town. During your visit you will be able to see some rooms that still retain their original decoration, such as the Library or the Amber Room. Do not miss this magnificent castle during your trip to Ireland.
Personally, these castles remind us of the castles of Girona, in Spain, so if you find yourself in a British summer in Girona, you can take the opportunity to compare the similarities between their castles. From here we recommend you to visit Tamarit, it does not matter if you are in the middle of an English summer Tamarit or if you visit the city for other reasons, but you should not miss the experience of visiting its beautiful castle on the edge of a movie beach.
Returning to Ireland, in general, if you come to the country with an ireland homestay or in any other way, we also recommend starting the trip in Dublin, since it is the capital and from here you can continue with the rest of the route. As for footwear, it is important to wear comfortable shoes since many of the places have a long route and you will have to walk a lot. Bringing an umbrella or coat is also recommended, as the weather in Ireland can be unpredictable. In general, the best time to visit the castles is during the spring or autumn, as the days are longer and the weather is generally more pleasant.
In conclusion, Ireland is a country that offers many possibilities to lovers of tourism, especially if you are a lover of castles. In Ireland you can visit some of the best and most interesting castles in Europe, such as Dublin Castle, Blarney Castle or Kilkenny Castle, as we have told you. Be sure to miss the incredible culture of this country and its wonderful strengths. Start your tour of Ireland right now !