Athlone Castle and Visitor Centre is a treat for all the family, with courtyard picnic facilities and picturesque town views. This 12th century stone castle was built for King John by Bishop John de Gray of Norwich, designed to defend the crossing point of the river at Athlone.
It's located on the west side of Athlone Town, on the banks of the River Shannon. From its days as a timber fort, Athlone Castle evolved into a bold, defensive building with architectural features like the keep of the castle showcased as a dramatic backdrop to its diverse and fascinating story.
Athlone Castle reopened in 2012 after extensive renovations. Today the castle has been transformed into a multi sensory experience in which family friendly multimedia displays and interactive games guide visitors through its halls. The great Siege of Athlone is relived in a 360º cinematic experience, transporting visitors to the centre of the 1691 battle.
Eight newly designed exhibition spaces pursue both a chronological and thematic sequence that mixes hands-on and fun experiences, and features dress-up activities for children and adults. Bold sculptural forms help to convey human figures and historical milestones, while 3D maps, audio-visual installations, and artifacts bring the stories and characters of Athlone to life.
The newest addition to the visitor centre is the John McCormack display. Here, the world renowned tenor, born in Athlone, is honoured with artifacts on display from both his fascinating life and his musical career.
Athlone Castle is the perfect stop off point in the Ireland's Hidden Heartland region of Ireland, en route to the Wild Atlantic Way. Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is the perfect family destination, just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.