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IRELAND : CORK

Cork (Irish : Corcaigh) is the second largest city of Ireland. It has 186.000 inhabitants. It is also the capital of County Cork in the Munster province, at the south coast of the island. The river Lee passes through Cork. Actually, the largest part of the city lies on an island in the estuary of the river. Cork’s harbour ranks among the largest natural harbours in the world. Cork also has an airport.

The name Cork is derived for the gaelic “corgaigh”, which means “swamp area”, a clear reference to the situation of the city in the estuary of the river Lee. Cork has an reputation for being  “independent”,  already since the time of the Viking invasions until the time of the Irish Civil War. It’s nickname is “Rebel Cork”. Cork is sometimes jokingly called “Ireland’s real capital”. Dublin stayed under English authority longer than Cork.

Cork’s city rights go back to the 13th century. Evidence shows that there has been a monastery, founded by Saint Finbar in 1172. Through the ages, the city has been ravaged and rebuilt several times. During the Irish war for Independence, Cork was largely destroyed by a fire that was started by the British army.
Cork used to have city walls, but only small parts of that wall still exist today. 

There are two large cathedrals : St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Finbar’s Cathedral. As one of the only cities in Ireland Cork has a modern opera house. The centre of Cork can easily compete with Dublin or Belfast as far as architecture is concerned. The main shopping street (Patrick Street) has recently been renovated.


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