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Cork is a Great City for Festivals

Aug 17, 2007
The second city of the Republic of Ireland is Cork, first is Dublin.

It is built on an island, the two channels of the River Lee embracing it either side while nineteenth century suburbs sprawl up the surrounding hills. This gives the city centre a compactness and sharp definition.

The city Cork origins in the seventh century when St Finbarre founded an abbey and school on the site where the impressive nineteenth century Gothic St Finbarres Cathedral stands today. A settlement grew up around the monastic foundation, overlooking a marshy swamp where the city centre now stands. More recently, Cork saw much violence and suffered greatly during the Anglo Irish and Civil wars, the cities part in Republican history is well documented in the local museum.

As part of the Republic, Cork has continued to develop as a port, a university city and a cultural centre and to assert its independence from Dublin. In 2005 it will be the European City of Culture and a major new art gallery is due to open at the university, probably in early 2004.

One of the joys of Cork is the fact that its scale is human most of what it has to offer can be explored on foot.

Cork is a great city for festivals, the biggest and most prestigious of which are the film festival in early October and the jazz festival over one of the last two weekends in October. Theres also an international choral festival in early May, a folk festival during September and a fringe festival of drama and dance in late October.

All round venues for entertainment and the arts. The hub of alternative artistic activity is the Triskel Arts Centre. It has changing exhibitions of contemporary art, a cinema showing art house films and a continuous programme of gigs, DJ nights, comedy, drama, performance art and poetry readings.

The leading mainstream theatre is Cork Opera House in Emmet Place which puts on high quality drama, jazz and pop concerts, dance, opera and comedy; the attached Half Moon Theatre has a more eclectic programme of drama, comedy and music, and among a largely uninspiring selection of mainstream discos, is the cities most interesting club venue, with a wildly varied weekly roster of DJs and live acts.

The Granary, offers a range of small scale drama productions, while the Firkin Crane Theatre at the Institute for Choreography and Dance, O Connell Square, Shandon is the best spot to catch classical and contemporary dance. Classical concerts are held at the School of Music, on Union Quay and the City Hall.

There are plenty of good watering holes in the city and if all you want is a drink, you wont need a guide to find somewhere though a couple of the citys older pubs are worth seeking out for their atmosphere. Many bars have music, traditional or otherwise. Wherever you end up, this is not a difficult town in which to enjoy yourself.
About the Author
Douglas Scott writes for The Cheap Vehicle Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Cork Villa Rental Site
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