Blogs: Rachel Miller

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Today, after arriving in Dublin, Ireland, we traveled to the medieval city of Kilkenny, Ireland. Kilkenny is filled with beautiful architecture and a full history. The city is home to Smithwicks brewery, located there since 1710. It is also home to a castle centuries old, Kilkenny Castle. We were able to tour the Kilkenny Castle. It was built by William Marshal, fourth Earl of Pembroke. Most of its life it was the Irish residence of the Butler family. However, at one point the family fell under financial struggle and auctioned off the items in the home. However, some were able to be located. In the library, we were invited to play a game and guess which bookcase was real, and which were replicated. The original glass of the real case gave off a bent reflection because of the difference of lead used in creating windows. My favorite part of the castle was the portrait hall. The ceiling of this hall had the most intricate and beautiful artwork painted on it. A single painter created this and I loved the Celtic cross knots he incorporated into the beams. In our free time, we walked through the city and visited the numerous cathedrals in Kilkenny. Our group had dinner together at our hotel, Kilkenny River Court Hotel. I ended my night listening to a local Irish band, The Kilkennys. It was a wonderful first day in Ireland.