Armagh City, County Armagh

Armagh city, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, hand some with its green-swarded mall, is one of the most stimulating and interesting places to visit anywhere in Ireland because of the sheer diversity of its architectural and historical legacy.

St Patrick's, the Church of Ireland cathedral, is essentially an early-19th century restoration, but is arguably the most outstanding building in Armagh. The Catholic cathedral, also St Patrick's, was built between 1840 and 1904. The library, founded by the Anglican Archbishop Robinson in the 18th century, has manuscripts by Jonathan Swift, including that of Gulliver's Travels, many other rare books and registers of medieval archbishops. Near the Archbishop's Palace, the Palace Stables have been converted into a heritage centre, where 18th-century scenes are brought to life. It also has a shop and cafe. St Patrick's Trian illustrates the Armagh story from earliest times in audio-visual form. Swift's many connections with the city are highlighted and the Land of Lilliput, a fantasy experience for children, is based on Gulliver's Travels.

Another most impressive development is the Navan Centre, a prehistoric site which features in the Ulster Cycle of epic myths. This series of earthworks and settlement sites was the earliest capital of Ulster and the mythology of those far-off times, Ireland in Celtic and pre-Christian times, is told superbly using audio visual and interactive techniques, narration and display devices. The Armagh County Museum, in a converted schoolhouse, is highly rated among the small museums of Ireland, with a fine collection of archaeological, natural history, textile and railway items, besides examples of the work of such modern artists as AE (George Russell). Also in the Mall is the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, with a fine collection of medals and uniforms.

60 km (37 miles) SW of Belfast, 137 km (85 miles) NW of Dublin.
Robinson library: Admission free.
Open Monday - Friday, all year.
Palace Stables: Admission charge.
St Patrick's Trian: Admission charge.
Navan Centre: Killylea Road, 3 km (2 miles) W of Armagh, off A28.
Admission charge.
County Museum: Admission free.
Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum: Admission free.
Open Monday - Friday, year round.