Cork City, Co. Cork
Blackrock Castle is a circular watchtower on the banks of
the River Lee; it was originally built in 1604.
Its purpose was to defend Cork from pirates and from the Spanish, who
landed in Kinsale in 1601. The 2.2-meter
thick walls were designed to withstand cannon fire (and also to protect the
paranoid English lord deputy Mountjoy from the people of Cork, who were
reluctant to accept King James I).
This summer, Blackrock Castle becomes Cork City's premier
home for the stars. Cork City Council
and Cork Institute of Technology unveil an interactive astronomy centre Cosmos at the Castle. This project has been in the works for a
while. Its goals are scientific
research, outreach, and communication.
With an interactive, multimedia tour created by top company Martello
Media, visitors can witness the formation of the universe In Search for Extreme Life in the Universe. They can beam messages to outer space with a
radio telescope. And they can learn
about how optical telescopes search for extraterrestrial life. CIT researchers are working on new, exciting
projects, such as robotic telescopes, which will eventually become part of the Cosmos at the Castle experience.
Blackrock Castle Observatory is a Cork City Council and Cork
Institute of Technology partnership.
Studies will be conducted by researchers from the Astronomy and
Instrumentation Group, based within the Department of Applied Physics and
Instrumentation at CIT.
How to get there
From Cork, located on Blackrock road, east of the city
Take bus Number 2 bus, departing from Parnell Place across
from the bus station, and going through Blackrock Village via Mahon. Ask the bus driver to stop in Blackrock
Village, as close to the castle as possible.
When you step off the bus, turn left and follow the river, keeping it on
your left at all times. It is about a
Monday to Friday: 10AM to 5PM
Weekends: 11AM to 5PM (including Bank Holidays)
Last admission is at 4PM.
Tel: +353 (0)21 4357917
Written by Liz O' Malley - Summer of Travel 2007