Blackrock Castle and Cork City Gaol

Ireland as an island is known for its ancient castles, stone walls and rolling green fields and cork city is no different.

In these photos some of our English language students can be seen braving the stone fortifications of Cork city where once pirates, invaders and prisoners roamed.

Blackrock Castle on the banks of the River Lee is under 2km from the immediate city centre. Originally developed as a coastal defense fortification in the 16th century the site now houses an observatory, visitor centre and restaurant.

As with many of Cork’s attractions the castle is a great example of where old meets new.

Opened in 2007, the “Cosmos at the Castle” observatory houses an interactive astronomy center which is open to the public, and has exhibits including a “tour of the universe”. 

Another city centre tourist attraction is that of Cork City Gaol, now a museum. A magnificent castle-like building which 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. Cork City Gaol is one of the finest examples of Ireland’s architectural heritage.