A view across the River Shannon in Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland
© Piotr Machowczyk/Shutterstoc
A visit to Limerick on Limerick Day
Today is Limerick Day, and what better place to celebrate this unofficial holiday than in Limerick, Ireland. The connection between the historic city and the humorous, five-line verse is unclear. Several theories have been purported, none of them definitive. But the city of Limerick has embraced its namesake poetry style and in recent years the Limerick Writers' Centre has hosted an annual competition called Bring Your Limericks to Limerick.
We're looking across the River Shannon at the historic part of the city, a medieval section walled off by the Vikings around 812 and known today as King's Island. That's King John's Castle on the left, built on the order of King John in 1200. Over on the right is St. Mary's Cathedral, which dates from 1168 and is the oldest building in Limerick still in use. History suggests the area was settled long before the Vikings conquered it and set about destroying Irish public records. The earliest map of Ireland, produced in 150 CE by historian and overall polymath Ptolemy, shows a place called 'Regia' at the same site as King's Island.