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Cork (Ringaskiddy),

silversea european cruises cork river lee irelandThe proud city of Cork dates back to the 7th century when St. Finbarr founded a monastery on a small alluvial island in the River Lee, where the impressive St. Finbarr's Cathedral now stands. An extensive and wealthy settlement grew up around the monastic foundation, attracting the attention of the Viking pirates who raided and burned the infant city and later built a new settlement. The 12th century saw the invasion of the Normans, who fortified the area with massive stone walls that were destroyed during the Siege of Cork in 1690. During the Civil War, in 1920, large areas of the city were damaged by fire. As a result of this long history of war and destruction, no medieval buildings from Cork’s turbulent past remain. In between the depredations, Cork became fairly prosperous; shipping and butter helped fuel the city's growth. Today, Cork is a pleasant city to explore, with a relaxing ambiance and friendly people. The city centre, essentially an island bound on either side by the River Lee, has an unassuming charm, with pretty bridges and quiet quaysides underlining Cork's history as a great mercantile centre. Many of the streets were once waterways; St. Patrick's Street had quays for sailing ships, and on the pavement in Grand Parade you can still see moorings dating from the 18th century when Cork was the most important port in Europe for dairy products. Stately Gothic churches, colour-washed houses and tree-lined streets add to Cork's quaint character.
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Cork (Ringaskiddy),