Blackrock Castle – a fortification located in Blackrock, about 2 km from Cork city center, on the banks of the River Lee.

It was built in the sixteenth century and was originally a defensive structure of the coast when the inhabitants of Cork turned to Queen Elizabeth to build a fort in the port of Cork to “repel pirates and other invaders.”

The castle passed from hand to hand over the years from the Cork authorities to private individuals to the Rowing Club and finally in 2001 it was again bought by the city of Cork.

Most of the castle was consumed by fire in 1827 because of a banquet fire that took place there. The reconstruction was completed  in just 2 years!

The castle has been used for various purposes over the centuries and now serves as the first fully interactive astronomy center in Ireland that is open to the public.

Currently, there is an observatory, a tourist center, a museum and a restaurant.

More information on Balckrock on www.bco.ie