July 2, 2011

0 Ireland! Bunratty Castle and the Rock of Cashel

Bunratty Castle, in County Clare and just outside of Limerick, is listed in our book of 1000 Places to See Before You Die. I'll be honest- if you miss it, you've still got a great chance to die content.  That being said, we did go, so here it is for you.

A 19th century Irish village is recreated on the grounds of the castle. The houses are furnished and decorated as they might have been back then, complete with thatched roofs.

The castle.  A traditional tower house, it was completed in it's current incarnation in 1425. 
 It was restored from ruins in 1954.

Many of the tourist attraction castles in Ireland have been restored- roofs, floors, everything down to furnishings.  Like Bunratty, several also hold medieval banquets for tourists to enjoy.  Think of it as a slightly more authentic "Medieval Times."

The view from one of the tower roofs.  Take out the streets and it'd be great!

A room off of the main bedroom.  Look at the crazy ceiling!

View from another tower roof.  That's the Ratty River, an estuary of the River Shannon.  "Bunratty" means "bottom" or "end of the Ratty River."

Our next stop was also a "must-see" of Ireland, although not in our "See Before You Die" book. This door is fantastic.

The Rock of Cashel, located in County Tipperary, was the royal seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years, although the majority of the remaining buildings are from the 12-13th centuries.  The remaining buildings include a tall round tower, a cathedral, a chapel, and a hall.

The Vicars Choral.

The cathedral.

The side panel from a 16th century altar tomb.

Yep.  That's Paul.

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