The Emerald Isle

AROUND KILKENNY Virtually the capital of Ireland in the mid-17th century, the county town of Kilkenny is the most outstanding medieval town in Ireland, its center dominated by St. Canice’s Cathedral, named after the saint who founded a monastery here in the sixth century, and Kilkenny Castle, built by Strongbow’s son-in-law, William, Earl of Pembroke, between 1192 and 1207 on a site dominating the river Nore and the surrounding countryside. The two mighty buildings are linked by a centuries-old street pattern formed by narrow alleyways of obviously medieval origin. There are many historic gems, ranging from Black Abbey, the medieval church of a Franciscan friary, to the 14th- The South & Southeast LEFT: Kilkenny town center is known for its brightly colored buildings. ABOVE: Built between 1594 and 1610 the Rothe House was the home of merchant, landowner, and Mayor of Kilkenny City, John Rothe Fitz-Piers. The house and garden is one of Kilkenny’s hidden gems. OPPOSITE: St. Canice’s Cathedral, also known as Kilkenny Cathedral dates from the 13th century. It stands beside a 9th-century round tower. OVERLEAF: The river Nore flowing through Kilkenny. Kilkenny Castle is in the background. 134