Best castles to see in Ireland
Castles have been one of the symbols of a country since medieval times, a true royal place with many functions. In the first place, the castles made it possible to have a military function by allowing protection and control of territories or borders. It also carried an important symbolic and political function, demonstrating who owned the land. And of course, an unmissable reception venue where guests enjoyed long meals washed down with wine. Thus, going to visit a castle was like taking a trip back in time, when the castle was symbolically one of the greatest powers of each nation. Ireland is home to many castles as well as their ruins scattered throughout each of the counties of the country. It was mainly during the Celtic occupation that these magnificent stone Irish castles were built. These castles in Ireland were subsequently looted, occupied, or even destroyed by several invaders such as the Vikings, the Normans, or even the English.
There are currently over 500 historic castles in Ireland and the good news is that they are generally accessible free of charge. In this article, we will introduce you to the most beautiful Ireland Castles. We will make you a list of the castles to visit in Ireland, enough to set off on a memorable journey through the time of the knights.
Best castles to visit in Ireland
Dublin Castle is one of the best Irish castles and probably the most prestigious castle located right in the center of the capital. It was the seat of British power until 1922. Today it is still an exceptional place for ceremonies and one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world. There you can discover many cultural elements such as concerts which occasionally take place in the old crypt of the Royal Chapel. It has been preserved in an exceptional way. During your visit, you can visit St Patrick’s Hall which was once the Grand Ballroom. You can also enjoy the throne of William III of England in the Throne Room as well as the former quarters of the viceroy. Dublin Castle is generally a place open to the public all year round for tourists and residents alike except on ceremonial days.
Donegal Castle is one of the best castles in Ireland. It was built by the chief of the O’Donnell clan, one of the dominant dynasties in Ireland during medieval times. The chateâu was fully furnished by the former Prime Minister, Sir Basil Brooke. He added many important additions for his simple pleasure such as Persian rugs as well as French tapestries. There are also several information panels on the history of the O’Donnell clan that you can see throughout your visit. It is one of the tourist attractions in Ireland mainly because this castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland. It is therefore strongly advised to take the time for this visit and it is definitely one of the must-see castles in Ireland.
Ross Castle is a splendid castle with a distinctively Irish appearance. It is located on the edge of Lough Lean Lake in Killarney National Park and is therefore surrounded by majestic landscapes. Indeed, this park in County Kerry is one of the most majestic parks containing three different lakes as well as a great diversity of species and fauna. This allows you to combine your excursion to Ross Castle with a walk in the heart of Irish nature. Ross Castle was once a fortress for medieval chieftains in Ireland. It was built in the 15th century by the chiefs of the O’Donoughue Ross clan, a powerful ancient dynasty of the Middle Ages. Due to its protective function, the castle is surrounded by a fortification and three towers, two of which are still visible in their current form. This tourist visit will also allow you to see a whole collection of the most beautiful oak furniture dating from the time, something to make them dream of interior decoration.
Maynooth Castle is one of the famous Castles Ireland, located approximately 30 km from central Dublin. It was founded in the early 13th century and was one of the main residences of the Fitzgerald of Kildare dynasty. As a result, the castle has become a popular residence for all of Ireland’s greatest and wealthiest earls. During the late 14th century, The Grand Count of Kildare transformed this castle as a center of political power and cultural diversity. It was not until 1991 that the castle was deprivatized and then placed under that responsibility. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to discover an exhibition on the complete history of the castle and the different families who were involved in the old dungeon.
In this article, we have made a selection of the best medieval castles in Ireland, enough to make a real excursion through the history of the country.