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Whether it’s the history of the bronze age or a glance at the city’s world-class rugby prowess, the museums in Limerick tell the region’s story. From the mainstream, such as the Irish revolution, to the more obscure, such as the first commercial transatlantic flights, this fascinating part of the country is keen to tell you about its past, its art, and its award-winning authors.
King John’s Castle is a museum entirely dedicated to uncovering the history of the very building in which it’s located, and it’s unquestionably among Limerick’s most impressive tourist spots. The exhibits at the newly revamped museum tell the tales of its dark history, including the infamous siege of Limerick, ancient trading habits, and the lifestyle of a Norman soldier. It’s a highly interactive museum, and, as a bonus, visitors can head to the 800-year-old turrets for spectacular views of the Shannon River.
King John’s Castle, Nicholas Street, Limerick, Ireland, +353 (0) 61 360 788
Munster Rugby, one of Ireland’s provincial rugby teams, has a spectacular history. They are former European champions and defeated the incredible New Zealand All Blacks almost three decades before the Irish national team were able to repeat the feat. Munster plays bigger games at Thomond Park in Limerick, where you can visit the Thomond Park Museum and take the tour. Munster-besotted tour guides will introduce to you the history with interactive exhibits, viewings of the trophies, a walk through the changing rooms and then onto the pitch.
Thomond Park, Cratloe Road, Limerick, Ireland, +353 (0) 61 421 109
Author Frank McCourt wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Angela’s Ashes, which was based on his own childhood. Born in New York, he relocated to Limerick with his family at a young age, where they lived in poverty. The museum is based in Leamy House, formerly Leamy School, where McCourt and his brothers studied. Visitors can explore the recreation of a 1930s classroom, as well as a recreation of McCourt’s home, which is based on descriptions from his book.
The Frank McCourt Museum, Leamy House, Harstonge Street, Limerick, Ireland, +353 (0) 61 319 710
Old Irish Ways is a little off-the-beaten-track spot that plays up the stereotypes of old Ireland, but in a way that utterly charms. Put together by a local with a passion for showing Ireland at various points throughout history, you’ll walk through authentic-feeling old Irish school rooms, pubs with items still in their old packaging, as well as reproductions that show Ireland as it was many years ago. The best bit, though, is curator Denis, who has a story behind almost every piece in the place and will (more than likely) show you around himself with a chatty, vibrant tour.
Old Irish Ways, Caherguillamore, Bruff, Limerick, Ireland, +353 (0) 86 154 1078