Let’s face it: Cork is a city on the move, where it’s impossible to get bored! Cork is one of its Irish cities, which are currently experiencing an exceptional cultural and economic boom. There is no shortage of activities in this student city, and you will have the pleasure of discovering the joys of a profoundly lively city, between museums, heritage, concerts, high gastronomy and sightseeing tours!
The first origins of the city date back to the 6th century, when Saint Finbarr had a monastery built, where priests and devotees gathered around ecclesiastical learning. This monastic life gradually spread, forming a real hamlet where the knowledge of the time, the mastery of ancient texts, as well as the learning of Gaelic are taught.
Over the years, Cork grew and developed its walls, some of which remain intact to this day.
Nevertheless, the Viking invasions of the 8th century had unfortunate consequences for the city, which was the object of many attacks and assaults. The city was regularly destroyed and rebuilt during this period. So much so that in the 12th century, the influence of the city grew strongly, becoming the most important city in the kingdom of Munster.
Soon Cork becomes a strategic town in the eyes of the English. They annexed it in 1185. This act then triggers many battles between English and Irish who succeed one another over the centuries, and the city knew in 1690 the repression of the Protestant armies of William of Orange.
The 18th century was a critical period for the city, which suffered terrible losses during the Great Famine, losing more than 25% of its total population. Many inhabitants decided to emigrate to the United States in search of a better life, relieving the city of Cork of its burden.
The 1900s are the scene of many conflicts where the Irish continue the struggle to legitimize the creation of a free and independent Irish state. Cork was one of the cities affirming this desire to free themselves from English oppression, supporting the actions of the IRA, protecting activists such as Michael Collins. During this struggle, Cork was the victim of numerous acts of violence, and the Black and Tans destroyed City Hall in a huge fire.
It is important to note that Cork has remained throughout its history unsubdued to the enemy. This course of action gave it the reputation of being a “rebellious” city, which, according to its inhabitants, deserved more than Dublin, the status of Irish capital. (This claim sometimes makes Dubliners grind their teeth… which creates some rivalries between the two cities even today).
The second half of the 20th century made Cork a profoundly industrial city, where many investors committed large amounts of capital to the development of shipyards and other pharmaceutical and high-tech companies. Today, Cork is experiencing a tremendous economic and cultural boom, which makes the city a particularly pleasant place to live.
Don’t rely on the industrial complexes on the outskirts of the city. Cork is definitely worth a detour! The city is located 15km from the coast, at the end of a roadstead rather well protected from the maritime weather conditions.
We love its lively streets, deeply alive, living at the rhythm of ancestral traditions and the more modern way of life today. A real bridge between past and present where each inhabitant lives at a hundred per hour, while remaining welcoming and accessible.
Among Cork’s must-see tourist attractions, don’t miss the English Market, a food market that showcases the region’s gastronomic products. Don’t miss a visit to the Blackrock Castle Observatory, a medieval castle that serves as a base for astronomical observation, or the Cork City Gaol, a fully-visitable historic prison.
Finally, Cork’s inimitable ambience can be found in the local irish pubs and restaurants. Here you can enjoy a pint while listening to live traditional music. A typically Irish atmosphere, where locals and travellers easily exchange ideas in a warm and friendly setting!
A place to live!