Kilkenny Castle, though it lacked its fourth wall, was a historical monument to the past. The Irish castle was built in 1195 and survived for centuries. By 1967 the castle had been abandoned and was falling into ruin, but it was sold to the city for a mere fifty pounds and has since been transformed into one of Ireland’s most visited destinations. We were certainly awestruck by the castle and eager to wander inside the stone walls.
The castle’s interior was no less magnificent. We gazed out of the windows at the sprawling land beyond the courtyard and watched the children playing in the grass. We spoke in hushed voices in rooms so full of opulence and colour that we dared not raise our voices, for what reason we did not know, but those particular rooms commanded our complete attention.
Kilkenny Castle was undergoing a few renovations in one of the halls, a massive room with paintings hanging on ever wall. It gave me the unique opportunity to take a photograph of the man working on the castle.
When I’m travelling, I always look for the moments, the angles, the subjects that most people do not immediately notice. Travelling is fantastic because I am able to explore other cultures with fresh eyes, and the little everyday details that most would overlook are exactly what captivate my attention.
The splendour of popular tourist destinations are always amazing, but I also look to simple hallways devoid of people or a repairman working in a large hall when everyone else is still looking at the paintings. It’s the seemingly mundane, everyday details that truly tell me about the place that I am exploring.
The nursery was both intriguing and eerie because everything had been left preserved, from the rocking horses to the toys to the small cradle. Our guide told us an equally eerie story about when she was working at the castle late at night and heard laughter and footsteps from this floor.
Assuming the doors had been left unlocked and that a few kids had gotten upstairs to play, she asked her co-worker to check the doors while she looked upstairs. The doors had been locked the entire time. And nobody else, other than the two of them, were in the castle. Legend has it that the ghosts of children who passed away in that nursery haunted that floor and occasionally would play loud enough that people would hear them.
Kilkenny was saturated in ghost stories and legends. Whether you choose to believe or not, that particular tale gave me chills. For those who believe in the existence of ghosts, sure, it can be a little frightening, but I think that the controversy and mystery of these stories are precisely what make them so exhilarating. Is your interest piqued? I’ll be posting about the rest of my time in Kilkenny soon. Subscribe to hear more adventures, legends, and ghost stories…if you dare.