Irish Castles

Grandeur and Magnificence at its Best

Ireland has always been famous for its castles and is the best way modern day tourists can catch a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage and history of this beautiful Emerald Isle. Here are a few of the grandest and most famous Irish castles that are definitely worth a visit to.

One of the most famous castles in Ireland has to be the Desmond Castle which was built in c. 1500 by the Earl of Desmond. The castle was originally built as a Customs house and has three storeys and an array of storehouses. This castle has played a prominent role in the history of this country first as a prison, then as an ordnance store and finally as a workhouse during the Great Famine period.

Today, it is a National monument and one of the most visited tourist spots in the country. The castle also hosts the International Museum of Wine Exhibition which will take you through the intriguing and unique history of this country and its wine links with the rest of the world.

Another fine example of the magnificent Irish castles is the Slane Castle which is the home of The Earl and Countess of Mount Charles. The castle is set amidst a 1500 acre estate and is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful valleys and woodlands.

This castle is world renowned for the annual rock concerts that are held in the natural amphitheater; over the years, major rock bands like U2, REM, Queen, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones have performed here. The castle is also famous as a venue for weddings, banquets and conferences with its stately dining rooms, magnificent gardens, courtyard and gothic architecture.

Yet another example of the Irish architecture is Castletown House in Kildare which is a magnificent, grand and enormous Palladian style mansion which was built by William Conolly in the 1720s. In the late 18th century, this architectural legacy was re-invigorated by his grand nephew and wife. This castle was designed by the famous architect Alessandro Galilei and has been said to be constructed in the exact classical proportions. It is believed that the design of this Irish masterpiece has influenced the design of the White House. Castletown was purchased by Desmond Guinness in 1967 and was later converted into the headquarters of the Irish Georgian Society. Today, the castle is open to public and the money collected is used to renovate and refurbish this legacy to its original grandeur.

The Birr Castle in County Offaly is a must visit if you want to tour the famous Irish castles. Apart from the magnificent architecture of the castle, it is also famous for its enormous gardens which display a breathtakingly beautiful display of magnolia in the whole of Ireland. The massive telescope in the castle is another major attraction and used to be the biggest in the world till 1917. The fifty acres of park land and the Historic Science Center are other added attractions which makes this castle a truly unique experience for any traveler.