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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Cork County > Cork City
Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city after Dublin and Belfast. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. The city has a population of 119,143, while the addition of the suburban areas contained in Cork County brings this total to 190,384.[3] Metropolitan Cork has a population of approximately 274,000, while the Greater Cork area is about 380,000.

The city's name is derived from the Irish word corcach, meaning "marshy place", referring to its situation on the River Lee. Cork has a reputation for rebelliousness dating back to the town's support of the English pretender Perkin Warbeck in 1491 following the Wars of the Roses, and as a result of this Cork County has the nickname of "the Rebel County", and Corkonians often refer to Cork as the "real capital of Ireland" and themselves as "Rebels".

The River Lee flows through the city, an island in the river forming the main part of the city centre just before the Lee flows into Lough Mahon and then to Cork Harbour, the world's second largest natural harbour, after Sydney Harbour, Australia. The city is a major Irish seaport — with quays and docks sited along the broad waterway of the Lee on the city's East side. Cork is one of the three constituent cities in the Cork-Limerick-Galway corridor with a population of 1 million people.

Cork was originally a monastic settlement founded by St. Finbarr in the sixth century. However, Cork only achieved an urban character 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 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.

The city was once fully walled, and some wall sections and gates remain today.

Cork features architecturally notable buildings originating from the medieval (only the Red Abbey survives from medieval Cork) to modern periods.[12] St. Patrick's Street, a main street that has been recently remodelled, is known for the architecture of the buildings along its pedestrian-friendly route through a major shopping district. The reason for its winding along is that it originally was a channel of the River Lee that was built over on arches.[13] The adjacent Grand Parade is a tree-lined avenue, home to offices and financial institutions. The old financial centre is the South Mall, with several banks whose interior derive from the 19th century, such as the Allied Irish Bank's which was once an exchange.[citation needed] Many of the city's buildings are in the Georgian style, although there are a number of examples of modern landmark structures, such as County Hall tower, which was, at 67 metres, the tallest building in the Republic of Ireland[14] until being superseded by another Cork City building: The Elysian, a mixed commercial/residential structure which stands at 71 metres. Across the river is Ireland's longest building, formerly St. Anne's Psychiatric Institute; built in Victorian times, which has now been renovated and converted into a residential housing complex called Atkins Hall, after its architect William Atkins.

Cork's most famous building is the church tower of Shandon, which dominates the North side of the city. The North and East sides are faced in red sandstone, and the West and South sides are clad in the predominant stone of the region, white limestone. At the top sits a weather vane in the shape of an eleven-foot salmon. The clock tower on the church is known by locals as The Four Faced Liar, as from the base of the building, each clock face appears to show a different time. Shandon is accessible to the public, and the bells may be rung by visitors.

Cork City Hall is illuminated at night, reflecting off the River Lee, which it frontsThe City Hall, another notable building of limestone, replaced the previous one destroyed by the Black and Tans on December 11, 1920 during the War of Independence in an event known as the "Burning of Cork".[8] The cost of this new building was provided by the UK Government in the 1930s as a gesture of reconciliation.[citation needed] There are two cathedrals in the city: the Roman Catholic St Mary's Cathedral (commonly called the North Cathedral), and the Church of Ireland St Finbarre's Cathedral.

Other notable places include the Cork Opera House is one of the few modern opera houses in Ireland. Fitzgerald's Park, to the west of the city, and the grounds of University College Cork, through which the River Lee flows are also tourist destinations. The English Market, accessible from Grand Parade, Patrick Street, Oliver Plunkett Street and Princes Street, is a covered market for fish, fruit, meat, spices and luxury foods. The origins of the market can be traced back to 1610, and the present building dates from 1786.

Gaelic games
Hurling is the most popular spectator sport in the city, and has a strong identity with city and county - with Cork winning 30 All-Ireland Championships, leading the table of Camogie Championship wins. Football is also popular, and Cork has won 6 Gaelic football titles. There are many Gaelic Athletic Association clubs in Cork City, including Glen Rovers Hurling Club and Nemo Rangers GAA. The main public venues are Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Páirc Uí Rinn (named for Christy Ring).

Association football
Cork City F.C. won the Eircom League in 2005 and also reached the Carlsberg FAI Cup final. They finished 4th in the 2006 season, qualifying for the UEFA Intertoto Cup. They also won the FAI Ford Cup in 2007. They play their home games at Turners Cross stadium on the south side of the city, and regularly attract the largest crowds in the league.

Rugby is played at various levels, from school to senior league level. There are two first division clubs in Cork city. Cork Constitution (3 time All Ireland League Champions) play their home games in Ballintemple and Dolphin R.F.C. play at home in Musgrave Park, Pearse Road and Ballyphehane. Other notable rugby clubs in the city include, Highfield, Sunday's Well and UCC. At schools level, Christian Brothers College and Presentation Brothers College are two of the country's better known rugby nurseries.

Munster Rugby plays half of its home matches in the Celtic League at Musgrave Park in Ballyphehane. In the past Heineken Cup matches have also been played at Musgrave Park but now, due to capacity issues these are now played at Thomond Park in Limerick, although matches were played at Musgrave Park during the refurbishment of Thomond Park. In May 2006 and again in May 2008 Munster became the Heineken Cup Champions with many players hailing from Cork city and county.

Water sports
There are a variety of watersports in Cork. Rowing and Sailing have recently grown in popularity. There are five rowing clubs training on the river Lee. Naomhóga Chorcaí is a rowing club whose members row traditional naomhóga on the Lee in occasional competitions. The Ocean to City race, held in 2005 and again in 2007, saw teams and boats from many local and visiting clubs race for 24 km (15 mi) from Crosshaven to Cork city centre. The decision to move the National Rowing Center to Inniscarra has boosted numbers involved in the sport. Cork's maritime sailing heritage is maintained through its sailing clubs. The Royal Cork Yacht Club located in Crosshaven (outside the city) is the world's oldest yacht club, and Cork Week is a notable sailing event.

Other sports
There are Cork clubs active nationally in basketball (Neptune and UCC Demons) and golf, pitch and putt, hockey, tennis and athletics clubs in the Cork area. Cricket has long been played in the city. The city is also the home of road bowling, which is played in the north-side and south-west suburbs. Boxing and Martial arts, such as Karate and Taekwondo, also command a high level of practise within the city. Cork Racing races in the Irish Formula Ford Championship.

Cork City
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Cork City
In: Cork
People: 119,143
Speak: English, Irish
Type: Hertiage City
GPS: -8.47, 51.897222