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Cork Travel Guide
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Cork History

Cork History

Cork is an old city, one of the oldest of all Irish cities. Indeed, it is older than many more famous European cities.

According to tradition Cork was a monastic settlement founded by Saint Finbarr in the 6th century. Between 915 and 922 Vikings founded their own town on an island in the River Lee and a trading port, and Cork became an important trading centre and.

By 1185, after the Norman invasion of Ireland, Cork was under English rule and people was given their first charter (a document granting the townspeople certain rights).. Thereafter it changed hands regularly during the relentless struggle between Irish and Crown forces.

The medieval population of Cork suffered a severe blow when The Black Death arrived to Cork in 1349, however Cork recovered from the disaster.

In 1491 a man named Perkin Warbeck claimed to be the rightful king of England and to overthrow Henry VII; that provoked a rebellion with the mayor of Cork and several important citizens but collapsed because they were all captured and executed.

During the 18th century Cork prospered, trading with butter, beef, beer and whiskey round the world.

Cork ensured that it played a key role in Ireland's struggle for independence; Mayor Thomas MacCurtain was killed by the Black and Tans in 1920. His successor, Terence MacSwiney, died in London's Brixton prison after a hunger strike. Cork was also a regional focus of Ireland's self-destructive Civil War in 1922–23, those and other events give Cork the name of "Rebel City".

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