Friday, September 30, 2011
Ireland - Cork City
Cork is now the third largest city in Ireland. It developed from a monastic settlement founded by St. Finbarr. Later a walled town was built on a marsh in the many chanelled River Lee. With its numerous bridges and backwaters, Cork has a picturesque continental air, yet it is one of Ireland's most progressive centres. Here also are the Shandon Bells, whose chimes (and the song that goes with them) are world famous.
Sent by Brunella, a postcrosser from Ireland.
This is from Wikipedia : Cork (Irish: Corcaigh, pronounced [ˈkorkɪɟ], from corcach, meaning "swamp") is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban areas contained in the county brings the total to 190,384. Metropolitan Cork has a population of approximately 274,000, while the Greater Cork area is about 380,000.
County Cork has earned the nickname of "the Rebel County", while Corkonians often refer to the city as the "real capital of Ireland", and themselves as the "Rebels".
The city is built on the River Lee which divides into two channels at the western end of the city. The city centre is located on the island created by the channels. At the eastern end of the city centre they converge; and the Lee flows around Lough Mahon to Cork Harbour, one of the world's largest natural harbours. The city is a major Irish seaport; there are quays and docks along the banks of the Lee on the city's east side.
Cork was originally a monastic settlement founded by Saint Finbarr in the 6th century. Cork achieved an urban character at some point between 915 and 922 when Norseman (Viking) settlers founded a trading port. It has been proposed that, like Dublin, Cork was an important trading centre in the global Scandinavian trade network.
The city's charter was granted by King John in 1185. The city was once fully walled, and some wall sections and gates remain today. For much of the Middle Ages, Cork city was an outpost of Old English culture in the midst of a predominantly hostile Gaelic countryside and cut off from the English government in the Pale around Dublin. Neighbouring Gaelic and Hiberno-Norman lords extorted "Black Rent" from the citizens in order to keep them from attacking the city. The present extent of the city has exceeded the medieval boundaries of the Barony of Cork City"; it now takes in much of the neighbouring "Barony of Cork". Together, these baronies are located between the Barony of Barrymore to the east, Muskerry East to the west and Kerryycurrihy to the south.
The city's municipal government was dominated by about 12–15 merchant families, whose wealth came from overseas trade with continental Europe – in particular the export of wool and hides and the import of salt, iron and wine. Of these families, only the Ronayne family were of Gaelic Irish origin. The medieval population of Cork was about 2,100 people. It suffered a severe blow in 1349 when almost half the townspeople died of plague when the Black Death arrived in the town. In 1491, Cork played a part in the English Wars of the Roses when Perkin Warbeck a pretender to the English throne, landed in the city and tried to recruit support for a plot to overthrow Henry VII of England. The mayor of Cork and several important citizens went with Warbeck to England but when the rebellion collapsed they were all captured and executed.
A description of Cork written in 1577 speaks of the city as, "the fourth city of Ireland" that is, "so encumbered with evil neighbours, the Irish outlaws, that they are fayne to watch their gates hourly ... they trust not the country adjoining [and only marry within the town] so that the whole city is linked to each other in affinity"
The title of Mayor of Cork was established by royal charter in 1318, and the title was changed to Lord Mayor in 1900 following the Knighthood of the incumbent Mayor by Queen Victoria on her visit to the City.
In the War of Independence, the centre of Cork was gutted by fires started by the British Black and Tans, and the city saw fierce fighting between Irish guerrillas and UK forces. During the Irish Civil War, Cork was for a time held by anti-Treaty forces, until it was retaken by the pro-Treaty National Army in an attack from the sea.