After exploring the massive and spectacular cathedral, we moved on towards our next destination which can be referred as another exquisitely built structure. It was the Blackrock Castle which is located at a distance of around 2 km from the main part of Cork. It is along the River Lee and said to be standing tall since the 16th century. In its present form, the castle is used as an observatory.
But the most attractive thing about the Blackrock Castle Cork is the history behind it. The initial efforts for the construction of the Castle were made by the city’s citizens during the latter half of 16th century. They had requested Queen Elizabeth I to estavlish a fort for keeping the city protected against pirates or other invaders. Initially, a round shaped tower was established in 1600 to protect the vessels reaching the harbour from being carried away by the pirates.
We could spot some remains of the structure near the river; it has a diameter of around 10.5m and a thickness of 2.2m. Initially, the ownership of the Blackrock Castle was handed over to Cork City according to a charter from James I in 1608. We also came to know that the castle finds a place in Council Book of Cork. The tower had to be newly built after it was destroyed in the year 1722 due to a fire. After the establishment of the new building by the citizens, it was used for housing convivial gatherings and banquets.
It was due to one such banquet that the castle’s suffered from a major fire outbreak again in 1827. The second rebuilding was done by the Mayor and completed in 1829.
The present form of the castle houses an astronomy centre which enables you to explore the entire Universe with the help of innovative floor to ceiling screens. It also comprises of an optical
telescope and a radio telescope which is used for sending radio beams created by school students to nearby stars. The telescope keeps a track of any kind of short flashes which may help mankind
in looking for extraterrestrial life.