Monday, November 29, 2010


A colorful town with a unique place in Ireland’s heritage, Cobh has a rich maritime history as the embarkation port for Ireland emigrants.

The Great Island on which the town of Cobh stands is the largest island in Cork Harbor. The towering French Gothic St Colman's Cathedral stands at the top of the hill overlooking the tall brightly colored buildings of Cobh and the dockside of the most important port of emigration in the country. Following a visit from Queen Victoria in 1849, the port was renamed Queenstown,  until it reverted back to its Irish name in 1922.

Cobh's long maritime history starts as the world's first yacht club, the Royal Cork Yacht Club established in 1720. Continuing through history, the first steamship to sail across the Atlantic, the Sirius, sailed from Cobh in 1838. Cobh was also the last port of call for the Titanic on her tragic maiden voyage and Cobh was where survivors of the Lusitania were brought after the ship was torpedoed by German U-Boats off the Old Head of Kinsale in 1915. 150 victims of the Lusitania are buried in graves in the Old Church just north of Cobh.

The town is best known however, as the country's main emigration port following the great Famine of 1846-1848. Once called "the saddest place in all of Ireland", Cobh was the embarkation port of some 2.5 million Irish emigrants fleeing famine and povert. Their tale is told in the award winning exhibition centre, the Queenstown Story, housed in the disused Victorian Railway by the dockside. The Cobh Heritage Centre is one of the many stops on Celtic Tours premier escorted motorcoach tour the Celtic Dream.

Though a town with a sorrowful past, Cobh is a vibrant hub of activity and interest. A quaint town of narrow streets, winding up steep hills, Cobh has a number of old-fashioned pubs and good quality restaurants. Cobh is a popular spot for sailing and there are harbour cruises around Haulbowline Island and the former prison of Spike Island.

Learn more about Celtic Tours escorted motorcoach tours to Cobh.

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