Dr. Bill O' Gorman, from WIT, speaking about this site on WLR

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Profile of Kilkenny

Kilkenny's rich medieval heritage is evident in the city's treasure trove of historical buildings and landmarks, exemplified by the magnificent Kilkenny Castle, which was constructed for William, son of Strongbow. During the Anglo-Norman occupation, the city was named as the capital of Ireland and was host to the Irish medieval parliament with orders of the day being carried out from the Castle. Kilkenny is arguably the pre-eminent medieval city in Ireland, with the current layout of the city clearly grounded in the city's medieval roots.

However, the city's origins predate the medieval landmarks existing today. Saint Canice founded a monastic settlement in Kilkenny in the sixth century. The name Kilkenny comes from the Gaelic, Cill Chainnigh, which means Church of Cainneach.

Strongbow, the legendary Norman invader, built a fort in the twelfth century on the site where Kilkenny Castle stands today. Subsequent to this event, William Marshall (Strongbow's son-in-law and Earl of Pembroke) oversaw the building and maintenance of fortified city walls thus consolidating the Norman's position of power in the city.

However, it wasn't until the seventeenth century that Kilkenny really entered its golden age. The parliament known as the Confederation of Kilkenny was founded in 1641. One of the parliament's main objectives was to unite resistance against English persecution of Irish Catholics. With the emergence of this parliament, Kilkenny entered a period of unparalleled success.

A substantial portion of the landmarks illustrating Kilkenny's medieval past still exist. Allied to this historical heritage, the city prides itself on its lively cultural scene, with important events hosted annually in the city. These events include the Arts Week Festival in the last two weeks of August, and the Cats Laughs Festival at the beginning of June. During the Arts Week Festival a variety of classical music events take place, along with art exhibitions, literary reading, jazz & folk sessions, and so on. At the Cats Laughs Festival, celebrated comedians from throughout the world perform in the city's clubs, pubs and theatres.

A visit to Kilkenny is a richly rewarding experience with a variety of interesting places to see and things to do.

For more info regarding Kilkenny log onto Kilkenny City Online

1 comment:

David Purcell said...

Greatest county in Ireland. You need more stuff about Killenny on this site!