The city's long history has largely centred on the battle for
independence. By 1185, Cork was under English rule, replacing
Irish leaders in the South's most influential stronghold. A series
of clashes ensued over the years. The city still prospered, aided
by its position in one of the world's largest natural harbours.
During the 18th century Cork exported produce all over the world.
In later years, Cork's reputation as 'the Rebel City' was justified
in the fight for Irish independence - though it has since emerged
as a calmer city, and still a fantastic destination.
One of Cork's most popular attractions is the fantastic English
Market, set up in 1786, that is a celebration of food from all over
Ireland - cheese-makers, vegetable stalls, organic producers and
butchers all sell their produce in the atmospheric covered market.
Also widely supported by the local community, the market's status
as an all-round city highlight was confirmed when Queen Elizabeth
II visited during her state tour in 2011.
Cork City Gaol
Housed in the imposing former prison building, an audio
tour relays the harshness of the 19th century penal system. The
tour features a range of exhibits and displays, including the
carefully restored cells. The prison closed in 1923, and was
reopened as a radio station, so the interesting Radio Museum
Experience is also on-site.