Kilkenny is one of the largest towns in Ireland and is packed full of incredible tourist attractions. Visitors flock from around the world to see the Rothe House, Kilkenny Castle, and Black Abbey. While there, they have access to unique shops and delicious restaurants. The Royal Spice restaurant Kilkenny has become a favourite with the tourists over the past few years.
The name Kilkenny comes from the Irish phrase Cill Chainnigh which translates to Church of Canice. It has been registered as a city in Ireland for more than 400 years but is still technically a large town rather than an actual city. The history of the town can be traced back much further than this 400 years.
The origins of the town lie in the sixth century when a church was built to honour St.Canice. That church was later replaced with St. Canice’s Cathedral, which is yet another tourist destination in the town. The church was very small for the first few centuries, but as the 11th century rolled around it began to attract more attention and more visitors.
The land and the church would change ownership over the centuries as various leaders took control of the region. The castle often played host to royalty, such as James II of England, who often spent his winter months in Kilkenny.
Today, the town is far more lively than it ever was. This is primarily due to a large number of tourists that arrive on a regular basis. There are a number of festivals and events that take place on an annual basis; attracting even more visitors than usual.
The two annual festivals of most importance are the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival and the Kilkenny Arts Week Festival. The Cat Laughs festival has become so popular that residents of the town are often referred to as, the cats. It has taken place each year during the first weekend of June starting in 1994.
The comedy festival serves as an outlet for Irish comedic talent that often has no outlet for expression. Unlike some comedy festivals, the atmosphere is very relaxed and there is no competition between participants. Comedians simply strive to express themselves and earn a laugh from their audience. In the past, the festival only hosted a small number of local performers, but today it is a much larger spectacle that attracts national attention and talent from across the country.
The Kilkenny Arts Festival has been taking place since 1974 and perhaps attracts an even larger audience than the comedy festival. It focuses on a number of art styles, including dance, music, theatre, crafts, literature, and the visual arts. Local artists, as well as artists from around the world, come to the festival to display their talents.
The art festival takes place during the month of August, which puts it roughly two months after the comedy festival. Visiting for both of these festivals is a great way to experience the immense culture that resides within Kilkenny. It will also give you an opportunity to visit all of the landmarks and enjoy your favourite restaurants, like the Royal Spice restaurant in Kilkenny, a second time.
There is a long list of attractions that demand attention while in the town, but a few landmarks that you absolutely must not miss. The most significant landmarks in the area are often centuries old, feature rich histories, and are accessible to the public. These include cathedrals, castles, and abbeys. Of course, should still make time to visit the smaller attractions, such as the many art workshops, the theatres, and the museum, and the gardens.
Most would agree that the Kilkenny Castle is the main attraction. Construction on the castle began in 1195 and was completed in 1213. It was built to control a specific point on the River Nore. At the time of its construction, it was an extremely important part of the defence of the local area.
In 1967, the castle as sold to the people of Kilkenny for £50 and is now maintained by the Office of Public Works. The nearby garden and parkland are usually open to the public. Parts of the castle are often used as venues for conferences or large events.
The Black Abbey was established barely more than a decade after the castle was constructed. It is a Catholic Priory of the Dominican Order. The name is based on the term Black Friars, which are members of the Dominican Order who often wear black cloaks.
The abbey was originally built outside of the city walls because the town was divided between Irish and English settlers at the time. The neutral location of the abbey was meant to symbolize its independence from either group. Unfortunately, the location of the abbey was poorly chosen and the building often floods due to the nearby river.
Having a chance to visit some of the most impressive landmarks in the world doesn’t matter much if you can’t enjoy a good meal while you are there. There are a handful of unique restaurants in the area, but none can compare to the authentic Indian taste of Royal Spice.
Royal Spice is one of the few restaurants in Ireland that offers a diverse Indian menu with authentic flavours. It has won a Foodie Destinations 2018 Award from Kilkenny Tourism and often finds itself packed full during festival times.
Their menu includes a number of a la carte options, fine wines, vegetarian and vegan selections, early bird specials, and traditional Indian entrees. Their food choices do not originate from a single region of India. Rather, they include selections from a number of different Indian regions as well as Bangladesh. Most of these meals are true to their original form, though the master chef at work is known to add a signature touch to certain speciality dishes.
Kilkenny has so much to offer visitors. You can spend a week enjoying a festival while exploring ancient castles and beautiful gardens. But no matter what you decide to do, you absolutely need to take the time to sample the local restaurants. The Royal Spice restaurant Kilkenny should be at the top of your list.