St Peter and Paul’s Church, Athlone.
Not long ago, I posted a few images as a preview of future posts arising from a week’s holiday in Co. Kerry. This will be the first post from that holiday, although it arises from the long journey from our home in Co. Tyrone to Kerry, on the first day of our trip. To break up the journey, and get a bite to eat, we stopped about half way down the country in the town of Athlone in Westmeath. I can remember being told at school that if cut the shape of Ireland out of thick card, Athlone would be the centre of gravity. We have stopped there on previous trips several times, and stayed over too, and I have always been fond of the town. It sits on what was historically a stategic spot, an important crossing point on the River Shannon. Key features of the town are the castle, some of which dates from the 13th century, other parts being added later, and the distinctive St Peter and Paul’s Church. These two buildings were the main focus of this brief visit, but towards the end of the post, are a few images from other parts of the town on previous trips.
As soon as we stopped, even before seeking out food, we paid a visit to the impressive castle which has played a key role in many important episodes in Ireland’s history.
The Castle from outside the walls.
Entering the castle.
St Peter and Paul’s Church in the background.
The castle is a good viewing point for the rest of the town.
An oversize chess set in a little corner of the castle.
A view of the Shannon.
Back out on the streets, and a closer view of St Peter and Paul’s Church.
A colourful view on the streets.
Another colourful display with the flags of the four ancient provinces of Ireland. This image shows the flags of Leinster on the left, and Ulster on the right.
The flag of the province of Connacht.
The Munster flag at the front.
View along the Shannon to the bridge.
A handful of older shots now, taken on a previous visit, in sunnier weather.
And a last shot, taken a few years ago from just north of Athlone, overlooking Lough Ree.