Places to visit in Europe


The lovely stone buildings of Adare, just 15 kilometres south of Limerick City, make it one of the prettiest villages in Ireland.

The name Adare originates from "Ath Dara" meaning ford of the oaks, where a fortified castle was built on the banks of the River Maigue in the early 13th century. The castle was soon followed by a fast-expanding town and three abbeys were built by its feudal lords. A Historical Exhibition" at the Centre takes visitors on a journey through Adare's past, from the arrival of the Normans to the abbeys of the Middle Ages. It tells the story of the Norman advance into Limerick, of how Norman knights became Gaelic Lords, and of the establishment of new Monastic Orders : Augustinian, Tristarian, and Franciscan which brought religion to Ireland. The story is told through models, and an audio visual presentation in French, German, Italian, Irish and English. The exhibition concludes with a 20-minute film depicting the village as it is today. Today, thatched cottages line the broad streets, punctuated with beautiful stone buildings and picturesque ruins. All this is best seen by taking a 30-minute guided walking tour. This stops at many famous sites including the 14th century circular stone Dovecote or Columbarium, one of Ireland's very rare buildings. Another place of interest is Trinitarian Abbey, restored by the first Earl of Dunraven as a Roman Catholic place of worship in 1811. Discovering the town will take up most of the day, but you might finish by listening to traditional Irish music at one of the Irish Nights organised throughout the Summer.

Preparatory visit offered to teachers. Information is available in English and French. Worksheets may be obtained for pupils. An Education Officer is on site, and audio-visual facilities are available. An alternative way to visit Adare and the surrounding region is to rent a bicycle for a day and cycle through the countryside along traffic-free roads and country lanes. During the summer a number of Traditional Irish Nights are organised with dancing, music, poetry and songs. For further information, times, and dates, contact the Tourist Information Centre.

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