The first Vikings in Ireland are thought to have arrived in the country around the 8th Century, while there were numerous Viking invasions from the 9th to 11th Century. While the Vikings raided many Irish towns, and in particular monastic sites, they also helped shape many of Ireland’s largest cities, with Dublin, Waterford, Cork, and Limerick all having strong ties to Vikings. Indeed, the city of Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, was founded by the Vikings in 914 AD. Below we look at seven places in Ireland with a Viking history.
7 Attractions in Ireland With Viking Ties
1 Viking Triangle, Waterford
The Viking Triangle is an area of great historic importance in Waterford and sits within the old Viking walls of the city. One of the highlights for visitors to the city is the Viking Triangle, an area of historic importance to the city. One of the main attractions in Waterford’s Viking Triangle is Reginald’s Tower, the only landmark in Ireland to be named after a Viking. Today, Reginald’s Tower is a museum housing some of the most ancient Irish Viking treasures, while a replica Viking longboat is positioned outside the museum.
Bishop’s Palace and the Waterford Medieval Museum complete the trio of great museums in the Viking Triangle, all telling a story of Waterford dating back for centuries.
Check out the latest Waterford hotel deals and plan your trip to Ireland’s oldest city today.
2 Ferns, Wexford
Once the capital of Leinster, Ferns is a historic town located about 30 minutes from Wexford Town. Ferns and the surrounding area was raided and occupied by the Vikings in the 9th and 10th Century. When the Vikings arrived in Ferns they set about raiding the town’s monastic site, and today, the ruins of Ferns Castle and St Mary’s Abbey are located on this site.
View the latest hotel deals in Ferns and plan your visit to this historic town today.
3 Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
Christ Church Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Dublin, and the original Viking church in the city, founded by Dúnán, the first bishop of Dublin and Sitriuc, the Norse King of Dublin. Located in the heart of the Dublin’s Viking district Dublinia, Christ Church Cathedral is a stunning building that also happens to be the oldest in Dublin.
Highlights of Christ Church include the crypt and the ‘Treasures of Christ Church’ exhibition, which shares the story of the role of Christ Church within Dublin’s history. Continue your Dublin Viking adventure by visiting Dublinia, a museum that tells the story of the Viking raids on Dublin.
Check out the latest Dublin City Centre hotel deals today.
4 Devenish Island, Fermanagh
Located in the picturesque Fermanagh Lakelands, Devenish Island is home to one of the earliest Christian monasteries in Northern Ireland, with Devenish Monastery founded in the 6th Century. The monastery was raided by the Vikings in the 9th Century, before being destroyed in a fire in the 12th Century.
Several buildings were constructed on the site in the years that follow, and the ruins of these buildings remain today, with the Round Tower, in particular, dominating the skyline. The island is only accessible by boat and is widely considered one of the finest ancient monastic sites in Ireland.
Plan your trip to the Fermanagh Lakelands by checking out the latest deals for Enniskillen hotels.
5 Dunmore Cave, Kilkenny
Kilkenny is a county famed for its medieval past, with Kilkenny City, in particular, having several famous medieval structures for visitors to explore. When it comes to the county’s Viking past, one place stands out above all others and that is Dunmore Cave. One of Ireland’s finest caves, it’s the tales of a Viking massacre that have really put it on the map in recent times. Viking treasures were found in the cave in 1999, while as the Annals claimed that over 1,000 people were murdered here in a Viking massacre around 928AD.
View the latest Kilkenny hotel deals today and plan your visit the Ireland’s medieval heartland.
6 Glendalough, Wicklow
Located in the stunning Wicklow National Park, Glendalough is an ancient monastic site that was once referred to as a ‘monastic city’. The monastery became the focus for a Viking invasion in the 9th Century as the Vikings went in search of valuable relics. While these invasions destroyed some of the sites on the monastery, Glendalough continues to be seen as one of Ireland’s most significantly important monastic sites, with views out to Wicklow National Park and its magical lakes, just adding to the aura that this place holds.
Book your Glendalough break today by checking out the latest Wicklow hotel deals.
7 Rathlin Island, Antrim
Rathlin Island is thought to be the first location in Ireland that was invaded by the Vikings back in the late 8th Century. Rathlin Monastery was destroyed during this raid before the Vikings continued on their invasion journey targeting other monastic sites including Inishmurray and Inishbofin. Rathlin Island is the only known site of a Viking Cemetery outside Dublin, while other Viking treasures have been discovered in recent years and now sit on display in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
Check out the latest hotel deals in Rathlin Island, and plan your trip to Ireland’s north coast today.
Plan Your Irish Viking Adventure Today
Want to discover more about Ireland’s Viking past? Check out our newly launched Historic Ireland website to discover some of Ireland’s most important historic attractions, including several significant Viking areas.
Images via Fáilte Ireland