King John's Castle is a castle located on Kings island in Limerick City. The Castle is one of the Cities great tourist attractions. I have personally visited the castle on numerous occasions and I consider it to be one of Limerick City's greatest architectural structures.
The first stronghold to be built on Kings Island was a Viking stronghold built in 922AD by the Viking king Thormodr Helgason. The castle was erected on Kings Island due to its close proximity to the river Shannon. The Limerick Vikings remained in the castle but became less powerful over time until the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in 1172. In 1195 the area was captured by the Normans under John, Lord of Ireland. King John ordered the castle to be built in 1197 and it was completed in about 1200. The walls of the castle were damaged on numerous occasions through out history, the most famous attack being the siege of Limerick in 1690.
The siege of Limerick 1690
The siege of Limerick took place in September 1690. William III and the Williamites attempted to take control of Limerick, but they were held back by the Jacobites of Limerick and forced to retreat. William III is mostly know for his victory at The battle of the Boyne 1690. This is commemorated by orange orders in Northern Ireland.
King Johns castle is now a great tourist attraction in Limerick. It is open to the public. The walls of the castle are kept in excellent condition. The castle is now owned by the state and is a great source of revenue for the Irish government. Upon entering the castle you will be exposed to 800 years of Limericks history and will be given a tour of the castle. I personally would recommend the experience. The castle is now also home to a gift shop where souvenirs such as special coins and post cards are sold.
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