Once a fishing village which began to develop as an important port base when British established their naval fortifications, Cobh (pronounced as Cove) in Ireland, later became Ireland’s largest port of emigration moving out in search of new life, mostly to North America.
This pretty storybook town is soaked in history, and has sunk in the hearts of millions of people. Out of 6 million Irish population, about 2.5 million people emigrated between 1848 and 1950, departing from Cobh harbour. And two famous ships that carried those millions of people had sunk in the North Atlantic Ocean, and claimed millions of life – RMS Titanic and RMS Lusitania.
Formerly known as Queensland, Cobh is located in Southern Ireland, just about 20 minutes from the city Cork
. I spent about 3 hours roaming around here, and cherish the time I spent in this charming seaside town. See for yourself, why I say so.
I parked the car, and took a long stroll getting chill breeze on a sunny, yet windy winter afternoon. This is the promenade that leads to the Cobh harbour. While walking, I noticed the little colorful houses, busy coffee shops and the happy residents giving a warm smile. It is said, in Summer, there would be boat trips, fishing, and lots of festival.
After savoring the walk, I crossed the road, walking past the coffee shops. The road began to elevate and I walked towards the small hilly place, that led to a Cathedral. A couple of steps to climb, and this is what I saw, a masterpiece architecture in front of me.
St.Colman’s Cathedral dominates the skyline with it’s grand Roman Catholic architecture, sitting on the hill that overlooks Cobh harbour. It was looking like a beautiful grey building from the harbour, and near I went and raised my head, the cathedral was hugging the clouds. The Sunday mass had just got over, and the caretaker standing outside had amiably allowed me to visit inside and take photos.
Enjoying the view of the harbour and the town from the cathedral was altogether a great experience. I started to walk again towards the board that pointed arrow marks to town centre. After crossing various local shops and houses, the road turned and voila! I saw this striking street – A colorful row of houses in it’s West View Street famously known as “Deck of Cards”. How beautifully they’ve built these houses, and how tastefully colored! I grabbed my “photographer’s opportunity”.
This was like a round trip. The road was now leading downwards towards the harbour, probably. At the end of the road, there were plenty of coffee shops, where I decided to refresh myself. There’s so much history and beauty hidden in this village, and they can be best explored by walk.
Other things among the local attractions are Titanic Experience (a audio-visual museum), Cobh Museum, Heritage Centre, a wildlife park. There’s also a Road Train that takes you around the town in 45 minutes which costs 8 Euros.
If you want to explore Southern Ireland / Cork Region, Cobh can be an perfect base. Ain’t this a beautiful town?