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Cork's Medieval and Contemporary Places of Attraction (Self Guided), Cork

The history of Cork is grand with great periods, ancient and present. This is reflected in the City's architecture and sites. One of Cork's originally preserved medieval sites is Red Abbey. This tour will take you to some of the City's greatest places, ancient and new.
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Cork's Medieval and Contemporary Places of Attraction Map

Guide Name: Cork's Medieval and Contemporary Places of Attraction
Guide Location: Ireland » Cork (See other walking tours in Cork)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: naomi
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • St. Francis Church
  • Courthouse
  • Saint Augustine’s Church
  • Christ Church
  • Red Abbey
  • St. Fin Barre's Cathedral
  • Lough Parish Church
  • Lough Park
St. Francis Church

1) St. Francis Church

Today's St. Francis Church is bounded by the north-western corner of Cork city Courthouse and the old Broad Lane Church. The foundation stone of St. Francis was laid on 2 August 1949 and was celebrated by solemn high mass. The church itself was opened on 14 July 1953 by Bishop Cornelius Lucey. Designed by architects Stephen S. Kelly and Alfred E. Jones, this red brick church features Byzantine style. Supporting the building are three hundred piles, some driven down to 10.5 metres or thirty-five feet below ground level. The interior is one of the most remarkable among the city churches – commodious, lavishly lit and decorated with great mosaics. Much of the artwork here is done by Commendatore Tullio Monticelli to the design of Italian artist Umberto Noni. The present day friary occupies the site of old Broad Lane Church. Part of the old city wall was discovered here while preparing for the construction of the friary in 1954.

2) Courthouse

The city of Cork is filled with buildings that are of architectural brilliance and have history attached to it. One such building is the Courthouse of Cork. Standing majestically on Washington’s Street (previously known as the Great George Street), the Courthouse is one structure that can enthrall viewers by its sheer magnitude and presence.

The original building was designed by George Richard Pain and his brother James in 1836. However, the structure underwent serious damage after being exposed to the fire in 1891. Despite the damage done to the building, the portico stayed virtually untouched by the fire. After being engulfed in the fire, the present Courthouse stands in the place of the original Courthouse that was erected almost half a century prior.

At the entrance of the Courthouse, one is welcomed with 10 magnificent columns that handsomely carry the weight of the triangular pediment and the dome on the roof.

Since the Government decided to transfer responsibility of funding from the local authorities to the Department of Justice, the interiors of the building have undergone tremendous changes. As it is open to public, one can take a closer look at this beautiful structure not only from the outside but also tour the inside.
Saint Augustine’s Church

3) Saint Augustine’s Church

Saint Augustine, who lived from 354-430 AD in Algeria, encouraged people to live together in communities bound by religion. Different communities which followed the word of the Saint, together came to be known as the Order of St. Augustine by the decree of the Pope in 1256. The Order came to Cork or Corcach, as it was then called, somewhere before the 1300.

After seeing raids, expulsion and opposition over a century and half, the Augustinians, laid the first stone for the Church in 1780 and the construction was completed in 1781. The present day Church was built in 1942.

The shrine in the Church is devoted to Our Lady of Good Counsel as are other institutions that are Augustinian in origin. Every year, a feast day is celebrated on 26th April in honour of Our Lady. Along the altar, are the Mysteries of the Rosary which constitute prayers on love, devotion, peace, etc. through instances in the lives of Jesus and Mary.

Designed by Gabriel Loire, the North and South Windows at this Church must not be missed. Both these windows are masterpieces of Loire’s work. The Northern window depicts the Interior Life of the Church. To the visitor, it speaks of the God as the source as well as the summit of Interior Life. It also gives the message of hope, perseverance and having faith in God.

The Southern window asks us to spread the message of God and share gifts of hope, love and faith with all mankind or Kingdom of God. Each picture in the Church has a story of its own and will be revealed upon your visit.
Christ Church

4) Christ Church

Standing discretely from the Bishop Lucey Part is the Christ Church, also known as the Holy Trinity. Offering its viewers an insight into the history of the Cork, the Christ Church also proves intriguing for those with an architectural fascination.

Built in the early eighteenth century, the present Christ Church stands on the historical site where two churches that dated back to the medieval times once stood. The neoclassical Georgian style of design is thanks to the architecture of John Coltsman, who is also known for designing the oldest surviving three centered arches in Ireland- the South Gate Bridge and the North Gate Bridge. It took about eight years for Coltsman to build the Christ Church.

The site on which the Church presently stands is one of great historical importance. The original building that stood in place of the present Christ Church was said to date back to 1050. Not only was that building speculated to be Viking in origin (Hiberno- Norse), historians also claim that it could have been the first church to be built in the city.

After serving as a place of worship, the Church ceased functioning in 1978. Subsequently the Christ Church has served as a house to safeguard Cork’s archival heritage and more recently is being turned into the cultural and artistic hub of the city.
Red Abbey

5) Red Abbey

The Red Abbey in Cork, Ireland was a 14th century Augustinian abbey which took its name from the reddish sandstone used in construction. In late 13th or early 14th century, an Augustinian monastery was built in Cork, and was occupied by the friars until at least the rebellion of 1641, and possibly as late as 1700. The abbey tower was used by John Churchill (later the Duke of Marlborough) as a vantage point and battery during the Siege of Cork in 1690. The siege sought to suppress an uprising in the city and its association with the expelled Catholic King of England, James II. In the eighteenth century, the Augustinian friars established a new friary in Fishamble Lane, and the Red Abbey was turned over to use as a sugar refinery. However, a fire in the refinery destroyed much of the abbey's structure in 1799. All that remains today of the structure is the bell tower of the abbey's church. The tower is designated as a national monument and maintained by Cork City Council.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Fin Barre's Cathedral

6) St. Fin Barre's Cathedral (must see)

Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral, (Irish: 'Ardeaglais Naomh Fionnbarra') is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Cork city, Ireland. The site of the cathedral has been a place of worship since the 7th century. The three spires of the cathedral are one of Cork's main landmarks. A Medieval Cathedral was situated on the site prior to the 18th century building, but few traces of it are visible.

The cathedral was damaged during the Siege of Cork in 1689/90, when it came under fire from the nearby Elizabeth Fort. When the steeple was demolished in 1865, a 24-pound cannonball from the siege was discovered, which is now on display in the cathedral.

Architect William Burges began work on the present Gothic Revival cathedral in 1862. Burges gave a Resurrection Angel, made of copper and gold leaf, which is located on the pinnacle of the sanctuary roof. There is a local superstition which states that if ever the angel falls, it would signify the end of the world.

Why You Should Visit:
Majestic Victorian cathedral with magnificent stained glass and lots of exterior detail.
Houses an enormous organ with all pipes on display.
Beautiful garden and labyrinth.

Climb up the steep, dark staircase to be rewarded with a simply stunning view of Cork.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Lough Parish Church

7) Lough Parish Church

This red bricked structure is sure to catch your attention by the Lough Road. The Church of the Immaculate Conception (The Lough Parish Church) stands amidst the scenic locale of Lough. At the heart of Lough is a natural lake that puts together the most beauty and tranquil backdrop.

The Lough Parish Church was built throughout the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. The church is built in a distinct Romanesque style which was brought about by architect George Ashlin in 1880. The premises later underwent refurbishment and enlargement which was carried out by James F. McMullen in the beginning of the twentieth century.

The building comprises of gable roofs and distinct red brick walls. Along with that the walls are supported by limestone platforms, the walls decorated with vitrified brick courses and the roofs have ornate corbels to support the weight. Materials used during the construction of the building like the red brick, grey limestone, the blue vitrified bricks add unique hue and texture to the entire structure.

With stained glass windows, intricate mosaic designs, timber matchboard doors etc. –the interiors of the Lough Church are also quite impressive.

All in all a perfect place for a relaxing walk with an added bonus of visiting a site that is architecturally intriguing.
Lough Park

8) Lough Park

Lough Park is an amazing place created as a bird reserve. Located south of the city center, the park houses a large population of swans, great variety of ducks and many other birds of feather. Inside the park there is a large pond with an island in the middle where birds make their nests.

Walking Tours in Cork, Ireland

Create Your Own Walk in Cork

Create Your Own Walk in Cork

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cork is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Walking Tour of Grand Parade Street in Cork

Walking Tour of Grand Parade Street in Cork

Grand Parade Street is one of the most famous and widest streets in Cork. The west side of Grand Parade is the old city wall built by Cork's earliest residents. In recent years the street has undergone major reconstruction, but its main attractions have stayed almost unchanged. Check this guide to the Grand Parade places worth visiting.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 Km or 0.2 Miles
Christian Sights in Cork

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The "Rebel City" of Cork is most famous for its religious landmarks, a great combination of history and architecture. The local churches where built mainly in the 17th-18th centuries. In the center of the city you can find one of the best-known churches in Ireland. Grab the opportunity to tour the famous churches of Cork City.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Cork Nightlife Tour

Cork Nightlife Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Walking Down the Eastern Part of Cork Tour

Walking Down the Eastern Part of Cork Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Cork Introduction Walk

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Cork is one of the biggest city in Ireland,also called “The Rebel City”. The cultural diversity of the city attracts thousand tourists every year. Find out what can you visit if you decided to go there by browsing this list of top tourist attractions.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Cork's West Side

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The west side of Cork is considered the most ecological part of the city. Along the Lee river, you'll find some of the most important landmarks of the city, including the Cork Public Museum, Fitzgerald Park, Cork City Gaol, and University College Cork. It's also a quiet area where you can enjoy a walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles