15 Amazing Castles of Ireland

15 Amazing Castles of Ireland

Ireland is an amazing land steeped in natural resources, historical remnants, and resounding culture. Sprawling estates with lush rolling hills create the iconic greenery that is universally associated with Ireland. These breathtaking landscapes are not limited to the Irish countryside. City centers offer a unique look at modern lifestyles, living arrangements, and business activities that all take place in new buildings which are perfectly nestled alongside ancient stone structures. Several centuries are simultaneously represented within a relatively small area of land as old meets new and tradition intersects with progress.

Amid all the other interesting attractions and expeditions that a tourist can enjoy during a trip to Ireland, there is one aspect that simply cannot be missed. The quintessential structures that stand tall throughout the land represent summer homes of the wealthy and leadership centers for royal families. The awesome castles that can be found in virtually every Irish territory are constant reminders of how much ancient civilizations have transformed and how customary traditions still impact the culture today. Literally thousands upon thousands of castles and partial ruins of castles are strewn about the Irish landscape. Visitors often struggle with planning trips that include castle tours because of the sheer number of sites available. Although each castle offers a unique and awe inspiring experience, these fifteen castles of Ireland are definitely among the top picks for any travel guide.

1. Blarney Castle

Perhaps the most important landmark castle in all of Ireland, the Blarney Castle has been standing for over six centuries and continues to grab the attention of countless new visitors each year. The existing structure is the third to occupy the property and was once the home of Cormac MacCarthy, King of Munster. It was under his reign that the infamous Blarney Stone became an international legend. Over the next few hundred years, ownership of the castle and rule over the land underwent many changes. The Blarney House was subsequently erected and remains today, still in the ownership of the Jefferyes family. Aside from the obvious beauty, one of the biggest attractions of the Blarney Castle is the Blarney Stone, which is said to evoke mystical properties. Anyone who kisses the Blarney Stone will be able to eloquently speak and persuade both friends and enemies to agree with their way of thinking.

Blarney Castle

2. Dunluce Castle

Once the hub of an important defensive fort, the ruins of Dunluce Castle still pose an intimidating image in Northern Ireland. Visitors can partake of daily tours by crossing a bridge to the Antrim Coast and accessing the formidable stone walls and massive stone structures that once held scores of armed guards. Verifiable archaeological records indicate that the castle was inhabited in 1513 by the MacQuillan family. Because of the unique vantage point and practically impenetrable rocky cliffs below it, the site was usually involved in some sort of ownership battle. Viking and Christian crusaders both claimed equal stake in overtaking the land over the tumultuous centuries. Years of erosion, neglect, and decay resulted in large sections of the stone giving way into the cold seawater below. Although the original inhabitants abandoned the site many years ago, visitors are easily able to imagine how important the Dunluce Castle was to economic and military forces of the fourteenth century.

Dunluce Castle
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