By Katiluz Garcia Lanz
LOCATED in the south of Ireland is the island’s second largest city – Cork. This year, Yeah! Magazine takes you to this metropolis.
“Flowing from the Shehy Mountains on the western border of County Cork, the River Lee splits into
two for a short distance,” creating an island on which Cork’s city centre is built, and empties into the Celtic Sea at Cork Harbour on the south coast — one of the largest natural harbours in the world.
Once in the city centre, you won’t stop wandering around the popular St Patrick’s Street. This street just cannot be avoided — it is famous for its variety of shops.
Cork is a beautiful city with a special charm. Its narrow streets and markets create a good atmosphere for shoppers. One of its main markets is called the English Market, where fresh vegetables, fruits, spices and fish are sold.
South of Grand Parade will see you crossing the River Lee onto Barrack Street where there is Elizabeth Fort, a star-shaped, seventeenth century castle. In nearby Dean Street is what could be described as the flagship church of Cork, the Church of Ireland Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral.
Saint Fin Barre was the founder of a small monastery in the sixth century that ultimately led to Cork’s foundation.
The city achieved an urban character at some point between 915 and 922 when Norseman (Viking) settlers founded a trading port. It has been said, like Dublin, Cork was an important trading centre in the global Scandinavian trade network.
The city’s charter was granted by Prince John in 1185. It was once fully walled, and some wall sections and gates remain today. For much of the Middle Ages, Cork city was an outpost of old English culture in the midst of a predominantly hostile Gaelic countryside and cut off from the English government in Dublin.
Neighbouring Gaelic and Hiberno-Norman lords extorted “Black Rent” from the citizens in
order to keep them from attacking the city.
The city’s municipal government was dominated by about 12 to 15 merchant families, of Gaelic Irish origin. whose wealth came from overseas trade with continental Europe in particular the export of wool and hides and the import of salt, iron and wine.
The city’s nightlife is lively and noted across the island. Some of the iconic pubs around Barrack Street are “An Brog”, “An Spallpiín Fánach” and The Bierhaus. They are typical Irish pubs with an Irish touch.