Monday, July 11, 2011

Blarney, Ireland

Hello Readers! Welcome back to my blog J I was talking with my friends the other day and found out about this awesome place I must share with everyone. Blarney, Ireland is a town in County Cork and is famously known for many reasons.

Blarney is the main tourist attraction in County Cork and is mostly known for being the home of the Blarney Castle and Blarney Rock. I know, that sounds pretty obvious but keep reading!

The Blarney Castle is a medieval castle that has existed since before AD 1200. Although the castle has had multiple fortifications, the site has not lost its original form. It was subsequently occupied at one time by Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster, who is said to have supplied four thousand men from Munster to supplement the forces of Robert the Bruce at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 (mmm Munster cheese!). This place is fantastically beautiful, surrounded by all different types of gardens and beautiful paths on which you can walk through while you tour the grounds. You can also visit the Blarney House, a Scottish baronial-style mansion that was built on the grounds in 1874.

Of course, the Blarney Castle wouldn’t be such a magical experience to visit without the Blarney Stone, located at the top of the castle. The Blarney Stone has many stories of legendary history by different groups, such as that the rock was the pillow of Jacob as in the biblical story, or that it was used as the Stone of Destiny in Scotland because it had prophetic powers of royal succession. Whichever story it is truly identified with, the stone is known to bestow the gift of eloquence. Tourists may hang upside down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone for this gift. After supplying men for the battle of Bannockburn, it is said that Cormac McCarthy was given this stone by the Scots as a gift of gratitude.

There are plenty of other things to do in County Cork if you don’t want to make a trip just to visit Blarney. Other castles and mansions include the Bantry House and Gardens, which offers an individual sound tour, and the Desmond Castle, which held American sailors as prisoners during the American Revolutionary War. You can also visit the Fota Wildlife Park, which is Ireland’s only wildlife park. So check out Blarney and County Cork, Ireland today and let me know what you think!

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