Limerick Travel Guide
King John's Castle © Santiperez
One of the larger cities in Ireland, Limerick has a picturesque location on the River Shannon, roughly halfway between Cork and Galway. A lovely blend of ancient tradition and modern vibrancy, Limerick is still an underrated travel destination often overlooked by the millions of tourists who spend their Ireland holidays in well-known destinations like Dublin and Killarney.
Originally conquered by the Vikings in the 10th century, Limerick was established as an early base for the Christian church and several structures, including St Mary's Cathedral and the Trinitarian Abbey in the Medieval Heritage Precinct, date back as far as the 12th century. King John's Castle and Cathedral are also popular sights, as is the Treaty Stone on Thomond Bridge, commemorating a peace agreement between William of Orange and the Jacobites in 1691.
Limerick endured much economic hardship in the 20th century, and though gleaming buildings are added to the skyline every few years, the city has difficulty removing itself from the images of crime and poverty associated with the best-selling novel Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Even today, the crime rate in Limerick is higher than in most other Irish cities.
Even through these hardships, Limerick is a lively city with a serious love of both sport and the arts. Visitors to the city can catch a Munster Rugby match at Thomond Park, and then food and drink at any of dozens of restaurants, bars and pubs around the city. On weekends, the Milk Market and Potato Market offer the chance to buy just about anything from books and antiques to local arts and crafts and fresh food.
In contrast with the gritty image of Limerick City, the surrounding Limerick County is a rolling landscape of pretty farmland with the winding River Shannon curling around picture-perfect villages like Adare and the seaside resort of Kilkee.
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