The city of Cork has such a wide range of activities and amenities to offer visitors. As one of Ireland's cultural, culinary and sporting centres; Cork is sure to enthral and entertain visitors of all ages and interests. Some of the city's key attractions include the Cork Opera House, Blackrock Castle Observatory, Lifetime Lab and Glucksman Gallery, the Everyman Theatre, Cork City Gaol, Cork Museum, Crawford Gallery, St Finbarr’s Cathedral and English Market to name but a few
Cork City Gaol is just 20 minutes' walk from the hotel and while the magnificent castle-like building is now a major and unique visitor attraction, this Gaol once housed 19th century prisoners. Visitors get a fascinating insight into day to day prison life at a time when the high walls ensured no escape and denied law abiding citizens the opportunity to see one of the finest examples of Irish architectural heritage. Stepping inside visitors are taken back in time to the 19th century. Wandering through the wings of the Gaol, the atmosphere suggests you are accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates, each representing their particular period in Irish history from pre –famine times to the foundation of the state. The cells are furnished with amazingly life like wax figures; original graffiti on cell walls tell the innermost feelings of some inmates while a very spectacular audio visual tells the social history and contrasting lifestyles of the 19th century Cork and why some people turned to crime, and some ended up in Australia. This exhibition fascinates visitors of all ages and nationalities and the tour is available in up to 13 languages.
As one of the leading hotels near UCC, the Kingsley Hotel, Situated just 10 minutes' walk from the sprawling campus of Cork’s University which features a nice blend of rich local history and contemporary culture. With a range of architecturally diverse buildings and a beautiful river way walk and gardens, UCC is sure to impress. Nestled within aged trees on the University grounds is the award winning Glucksman Gallery. A structure distinctive for its unique architectural design, the Glucksman is a lure for visitors and Corkonians alike. Relax in the café before perusing the striking visual arts displayed in the gallery.
The Lifetime Lab is located at the old Cork City Waterworks, directly across the river from The Kingsley, which was responsible for supplying water to the city of Cork over the past three centuries. The Waterworks is the best preserved of its kind in Ireland. The old buildings and machinery have been carefully restored and are now being used to tell the story of how water was supplied to Cork City in the past.
The Cork Museum, located on the grounds of Fitzgerald Park on Mardyke Walk, houses a collection of some of the memories of Cork's commercial, political, historical, ancient history, old glass, coins and general local memorabilia. Micheal Collins exhibition and items relating to Thomas MacCurtain and Terence McSweeney, two martyred Lord Mayors of Cork.
Generations of Cork citizens and visitors have enjoyed the tranquil atmosphere of Fitzgerald Park, people have strolled through the park. The park recently underwent a revamp which included the installation of the award winning Sky Garden as designed by Diarmuid Gavin. The park also features an ornamental pond and Fr Matthew Fountain, dating from the Cork Exhibition of 1902.
Situated not far from university College Cork, St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral is one of the city's most iconic structures and historical landmarks. The cathedral is the most recent ecclesiastical site located where the Saint Fin Barre is believed to have founded his monastic school in the 7th century. The present Neo-Gothic cathedral, designed by English architect William Bruges, is made from Cork limestone and marble, as well as Bath stone. This Church of Ireland cathedral was consecrated in 1870.
Noteworthy features of its magnificent interior include stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments, marble mosaics from the Pyrenees while the sanctuary ceiling portrays Christ, surrounded by angels. The building contains more than 1,260 sculptures, a particularly ornate pulpit and even a 24-lb cannonball, a legacy of the Siege of Cork in 1690.
Crawford Art Gallery, a National Cultural Institution and regional art museum for Munster, is dedicated to the visual arts, both historic and contemporary. Located in the heart of Cork city, beside the Opera House, the Gallery is a critical part of Ireland's cultural and tourism infrastructure, welcoming over 200,000 visitors a year.
Admission to the Gallery and to exhibitions is free
Cork Opera House provides balanced popular entertainment with an emphasis on education and outreach activities. A high variety of genres of activity such as opera, drama, dance, concerts, musicals and family productions are received. In addition to that Cork Opera House has a long history of producing and co-producing quality productions across all genres. In the past 8 years Cork Opera House has produced and co-produced 33 new productions which have toured to 38 venues in 22 different counties.
Located in the heart of Cork's historic centre, and within walking distance of the city's artistic, commercial and diverse tourist attractions, the Cork Vision Centre @ St. Peter's offers visitors an opportunity to appreciate a fine example of conservation in action, and to explore Cork's evolution from past, through present, and onwards to future development. For more information, please visit www.corkvisioncentre.com.