Well after the wonders of Kerry last week, it’s time to go over the border to county Limerick. We’ll start in the handsome city of Limerick, Ireland’s third largest city, beautifully situated on the banks of the Shannon and stop off at it’s most famous landmark.
1.King John’s Castle
Standing on Kings Island, this 13th century castle boasts amazing views across the Shannon and it now houses a fantastic exhibition charting 800 years of history. A great place to spend an afternoon. After that we definitely have to head to one of my favorite museums in the country.
2. The Hunt Museum
Housed in Limerick’s beautiful 18th century custom house, The Hunt Museum is named after John and Gertrude Hunt. They were antique dealers and advisers to collectors and their personal lifetime collection of around 2000 artefacts forms the centerpiece of the museum as well as other collections and visiting exhibitions. There’s a treasure trove to discover here-from Irish Iron Age and Bronze Age pieces to works by Picasso and Renoir.
3. St.Mary’s Cathedral
Before we leave the city, we must visit St. Mary’s Cathedral. It was founded in 1168 and is the oldest building in Limerick that is still in use. It was built on the site of a palace donated by the King of Munster, Donal Mor O’Brien and parts of that original palace are thought to be found in the structure that exists today, including the impressive West Door. No visit to Limerick city would be complete without stopping by to take in this beautiful historic building which remains a place of worship to this day.
4. Lough Gur
OK so let’s head for the countryside and take a trip to the must see Lough Gur just 20km south of Limerick city. It sits at the heart of an amazing archaeological landscape with evidence of settlements there from neolithic to medieval times and everything in between. The Heritage Center provides a top class guide to this truly magical mystical place which is steeped in history and folklore.
We can’t leave Limerick without stopping off at the gorgeous Adare village. If you’re looking for classic Irish olde world charm, it’s all here in Adare, one of Ireland’s prettiest villages. The scenery is beautiful with a wealth of stunning churches and medieval buildings but for me it’s the beautifully preserved thatched cottages dotted throughout the village that really make this place irresistibly adorable.
Before we leave Limerick, I have to talk about The Ardagh Chalice, arguably Ireland’s greatest treasure. Now housed in the National Museum of Ireland, it was unearthed in 1868 by two men digging for potatoes near Ardagh, county Limerick. Little did they know they had discovered one of the finest examples of 8th century metalwork in existence. Stunningly crafted from silver, gold and bronze, the design and workmanship is exquisite and continues to inspire Celtic jewelry design to this day.
I’m just loving the new Celtic Warrior Collection at The Irish Store, part of our recent summer collection. The filigree metalwork is totally inspired by the Ardagh Chalice design. There’s also a choice of emerald green or Swiss blue stones which really give these pieces the wow factor.
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Thanks so much for stopping by.
Looking forward to catching up next week.
Slán go fóill!
The Irish Store Founder