Kilkenny Castle and the River Nore from Wind Gap
Photo by: IrishFireside, Creative Commons

Year after year, more and more people come to Kilkenny, Ireland. Why you ask? Well simply because it is one of the places in Ireland that is home to beautiful architecture that represents the identity and the culture of the Irishmen and women.
And if that thought got you interested enough to make you visit Ireland this summer or the next, here are some structures that you need to visit and feed your eyes on.

1. Duiske Abbey
Description: This Cistercian monastery was founded by William Marshall in A.D. 1204. During that time, it is said to be largest and the most beautiful among the 34 monasteries built all across Ireland.
The theme of the building borders more on the gothic Romanesque style that is prevalent in that era.
Location: You can see the monastery at Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny.

2. Jerpoint Abbey
Description: This national monument has been constructed by the King of Osraige in the late 12th Century in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today people visit this holy place because of its beautiful sculptured cloister arcade with exquisite carvings that are still beautifully intact. Apart from that, some tourists also believe that the structure marks the resting place of Saint Nicholas – the model for our current Santa Claus. But those and beliefs are yet to be proven.
Location: From Thomastown, the abbey can be reached by travelling 2.5 kilometers south west along the N9 National Primary Road.

3. Saint Canice’s Cathedral
Description: This cathedral is said to be the 2nd longest in Ireland. Although the structure was built sometime during 13th century, the locals believe that the site where its foundations were laid has been used as a Christian worship place since the 6th century.
To tourists, Saint Canice’s stand out because of its beautiful limestone structure, early gothic design, rich and colorful stained glass windows, ancient thrones and the sights that any tourist can appreciate from way up the 9th century round tower.
Location: Saint Canice’s Cathedral is perhaps the most accessible as it sits right in the middle of Kilkenny City.

Those are three of the churches you should absolutely see. And if you still have time to spare after touring those, you can also visit other structures like the Kilkenny Castle, the City Hall, the Black Abbey and the Hoban Memorial.

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