Cobh (once known as Queenstown) is a charming port city at the mouth of the River Lee in Cork Harbor. From here, over 2.5 million immigrants said good-bye to their homeland and left in search of a better life in the United States during the years 1848 to 1950. Because the harbor is one of the largest and safest anywhere, capable of taking the largest vessels afloat, the great Transatlantic liners used to come in until the 1950s. Cobh was the final port-of-call for the ill-fated RMS Titanic. Cobh also was involved in the rescue efforts of the Lusitania when she was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Kinsale in 1915. The survivors were brought here and many of the victims are buried here. Cobh is the gateway to Cork (the second largest city in Ireland), as well as to Waterford (the city of Crystal) and Blarney Castle with the famous Blarney Stone.
Cork originated in the 7th century but came into its own in the 17th century, experiencing its “golden age” by providing butter to the ships plying the North Atlantic. During this period, the city expanded, the economy flourished, and many grand Italianate residences were built. Cork’s most famous building is the church tower of Shandon at St. Anne’s Church. The Butter Museum, the Cork Butter Exchange and the Firkin Crane Center are all part of the “golden age” of butter. Today, Cork is home to the Beamish and Crawford Brewery, Murphy’s Irish Stout, and major industrial presences such as Pfizer, Apple, Logitech and even Amazon. Take a look:
Our first stop is the Shandon Bells & Tower at St. Anne’s Church. St. Anne’s, built in 1722, is one of the oldest churches still in use.
St. Anne’s is one of a very small number of churches retaining their original 18th century bells.