Here we have the Spanish Arch, one of the gateways in the old city wall. It was called the Spanish Arch as it is situated on the river bank enclosing a large open area known as the Spanish Parade, where the sailors would gather beside boats which were moored along the river bank to the right of my picture. Many of these boats plied their trade between Spain and Galway, as Galway were huge into the wine trade, both incoming and outgoing.
The ladies enjoyed a stroll through the old town before we departed later on our way to Limerick where they were to meet up later with a group of Bruce Springsteen fans, who were following his latest tour. They will be attending his concert in Thomond Park Limerick tonight (Tuesday) and they are all excited about this. Kathleen is a huge Springsteen fan, and Clare is a first timer tonight.
Today (Tuesday) we made our way to Adare, that renowned town on the outskirts of Limerick. Here you see one of the thatched cottages that line the streets of Adare.
This is the Heritage centre in the heart of the town, and a lovely place to begin your visit to Adare. There is great free parking at the rear of the centre, and the restaurant here is really good. If you want to trace your heritage then there is a place in the centre, where you can not only get information, but you can have your information printed out on quality parchment type paper. You can also get your family crest on various types of material, including wooden plaques.
The magnificent old Norman castle dating back to the thirteen hundreds is a must visit in Adare, and i highly recommend this. Here in the centre you will find Sandra and Patsy at reception, (and other most helpful ladies at various times,) and they will give you information on the centre. They can book you into a castle tour for a more than reasonable fee right here in reception. The tours run all through the day at regular intervals.
Here we have Patsy waiting at our bus during our Fitzgerald Adare castle tour. Patsy is a superb guide and relates and explains all of the relevant history of this historic castle.
Below you have some pictures of this castle.
The main entrance to the castle.
Viewing the main entrance from the inside. Note the portcullis, an extra safety weapon which could be raised or lowered rapidly if the main door was breached
Here you can see the remainder of the castle keep, the residence of the ruling Lord, This was a castle inside the main walls with a moat surrounding it. The castle was partially destroyed by Cromwell when he overran Ireland in the sixteen hundreds.
A view downriver from inside one of the narrow slit windows in the castle wall showing the river and bridge. The river runs right along the outer castle wall and boats could come upriver with provisions for the castle.These type of windows were guarded by archers who could fire out through them without being in great danger from being hit themselves from outside by the enemy.
A more open view downriver from on top of the castle wall.
The bridge with the old Augustinian Abbey in the background. This was, and is, known as the Black Abbey, because of the black robes the Augustinian priests wore.
This is the beautiful Trinitarian Abbey, dating back to the early thirteen hundreds, which is located right beside the Heritage centre in the heart of Adare. Please visit this wonderful church, and maybe even donate to its wonderful renovation, and restoration work . A nice place to say a little prayer of gratitude for your visit to this special church, and this very special country.
The main isle of the church, with the Sanctuary and main altar.
The Trinitarian church, as seen from the heritage centre side, with the fountain, which was donated to the townspeople by the Earl of Dunraven's wife. The Dunraven's were the ruling family of Adare Manor and the Adare estate. The house is now the Adare Manor Hotel, a magnificent five star Castle
hotel here in Adare.
Later we made our way back to Bunratty and the lovely Bunratty Villa where the ladies are spending tonight. Here is Clare, making friends with this lovely Connemara pony in the field beside the B&B. This wonderful house, with its lovely gardens, is set in the countryside very close to Bunratty Castle, and is close to Limerick, and the stadium where Bruce Springsteen is performing later this evening.
Bunratty Villa is a beautiful peaceful B&B where Jackie and her Mom Phil will look after you, and give you a real warm and genuine Irish welcome. Just tell them that Dave sent you. Even if you don't, they will look after you.
Tomorrow we are on our way again, and heading for the cliffs of Moher before making our way to Kinvara. If you are not too busy, come along with us.
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