Dundalk is a beautiful country town in Ireland’s County Louth, situated on the banks of the Castletown River that flows into the Dundalk Bay with all its spectacle.
There is a different feeling when you visit the small town of Dundalk. And, it is definitely a good one! I had to go from Dublin to Belfast so I thought of paying the beautiful place a visit in my trip. Even before I had reached the place my amazement over its history had already begun! I was told by a fellow passenger that the town was named after the mythical warrior Cú Chulainn. When I reached there I read an encryption ‘Mé do rug Cú Chulainn Cróga’ which means “I gave birth to brave Cú Chulainn”.
This town saw its foundation in 3500 BC by Neolithics who settled here. However, it was in 500 BC that the Celtic culture found its way here. Either ways, it is quite an ancient town. In 1169 the town saw the arrival of the Normans, who took it in their hand and got the place charted in 1189. Much later, in the seventeenth century, Lord Limerick created the town of Dundalk, as we know it today.
On my visit I saw many castles and forts that were built under Lord Limerick’s authority. My tour guide first led me to a linen and cambric factory that lies towards the eastern end, and then to an army cavalry that once used to be followed by the Aiken Military Barracks.
There are some specific tourist attractions that I would suggest for those of you who come visiting.
The County Museum: It is a restored house from the eighteenth century. It once used to be a warehouse, and even today celebrations, which have their origins in the Stone Age to industrial age, are made here. You should visit this place during one such celebration in progress. I was most impressed with the special facilities that were there in the museum for the disabled. I haven’t seen many museums that do so. The museum remains closed on Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly.
The Dundalk International Maytime Festival: Probably one of the best moments of my trip was the visit to this festival. I have to admit I had an amazing time! This annual ten day long festival was started back in 1964 and boasts a beautiful treat of musical and theatrical events. I also took part in a drama competition! The highlight of the festival however had to be the selection of the Maytime Queen.