The green capital of Dublin, which is traversed by many parks, has developed strongly in the times of Ireland as a tiger state, which can be seen in all the villages that make up Dublin. Each village is unique, such as Temple Bar, the cultural district and nightlife hub, or Ranelagh, the village of foodies, antiques and book lovers, Smithfield with traditional bars and pubs, the Old Jameson distillery, galleries and studios, picturesque Howth am Harbour, Liberties, the artists’ village and Portobello, the birthplace of playwright George Bernard Shaw. Dublin’s most popular attractions include the Guinness Storehouse at St James’s Gate Brewery, the Botanic Gardens, the National Gallery, the National Aquatic Center and Kilmainham Prison. Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature, which is reflected in the numerous literary pubs such as The Bailey, Davy Byrnes, Fitzgerald’s and The Palace Bar and in literary events such as Bloomsday and the Dublin Writers Festival. There is also the Dublin Writers Museum, the James Joyce Center and other sites for literature lovers.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Ireland, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
Kylemore Abbey, the oldest Benedictine abbey in Ireland, was founded in 1665 and moved to Kylemore Castle in 1920. There the nuns founded a boarding school for girls. The school enjoys a very good reputation. Part of the rooms of Kylemore Abbey have been opened to the public. The area surrounding the most photographed building in Ireland is also worth seeing. Exotic plants grow around the castle. In the gardens of Kylemore, bananas, grapes and peaches thrive in greenhouses. A large Victorian walled garden is also well worth seeing.
Aillwee Cave is on the west coast and 30 kilometers from Galway. This was discovered in 1940 by a farmer, who only disclosed his find shortly before his death in the 1970s. On the 1.3 km tour of the cave you can see underground waterfalls and learn about stalactites and stalagmites.
Knock is a place of pilgrimage
The western Irish village of Knock is in County Majo and has an airport and a basilica for 12,000 people. The place of pilgrimage is considered one of the most important Marian shrines in Europe. In 1879, Mary is said to have appeared to a number of local people, accompanied by Saint Joseph and the Evangelist John. The statements were found to be credible and there were repeated reports of people recovering from illness. Today, more than a million people make the pilgrimage to Knock each year.
About half an hour north of Limerick is the restored picture-perfect Bunratty Castle with its original interior. Bunratty Castle was built by Mc Namara in 1451 and serves as an open air museum by day. After dark, the castle is transformed back to its original medieval appearance by candle and torchlight. The story of Bunratty Castle is told to the sound of harps and mead. This is followed by a banquet where people eat with their fingers, as in the Middle Ages. The Bunratty Folk Park behind the castle is also worth seeing. This is a reconstructed 19th Century Irish village that is brought to life daily by amateur actors.
The Aran Islands are located in Galway Bay. These are limestone cliffs, three of which are inhabited and four uninhabited. The islands attract nature lovers, archaeologists and artists alike. The residents live from tourism and are known for the production of knitwear. Characteristic of the islands are the old stone walls that border the gardens. The walls provide habitat for rare birds and plants. Gaelic culture is preserved on the Aran Islands and there is much prehistoric evidence such as ring forts and church ruins.
Connemara National Park
Located on the Atlantic Ocean and west of County Galway is the Connemara region with Connemara National Park at its centre. A lonely stretch runs along the N59. It offers the most untouched and most beautiful sides of this region. Wild Connemara ponies live here in a landscape that is characterized by moor and heathland plants. The entrance to Connemara National Park is in Letterfrack next to the Visitor Center and Park Office. Various hiking trails, including the 400 m high summit of Diamont Hill, start here.
Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park, the second largest national park in the country, was opened in north-west Ireland in 1986. Glenveagh National Park in County Donegal covers 16,000 hectares. It includes lakes, gorges and forests. One of the largest herds of red deer live here, and white-tailed eagles have also been successfully settled. Glenveagh Castle on Lough Veagh is a 19th century manor house and home to the park’s visitor centre. Two miles west of the car park is an arduous hike up a hiking trail to Donegal’s highest mountain. Mount Errigal rewards the three-hour tour with an overwhelming view over the mountains to the Atlantic.
The monastic ruins of Clonmacnoise, east of Galway, are Ireland’s most popular photo opportunity. They were founded by Saint Ciarán in 548 AD on the banks of the Shannon. Up until the 17th century the monastery was the spiritual and intellectual center of Ireland. Today, two round towers, monumental tombstones, decorated high crosses and the remains of the cathedral bear witness to the church’s past.