The town of Cobh can be called by many names: a fishing town, a cruise port town, a naval base town and many others, but many would probably not think of it as a museum town. Cobh has 4 museums that is within short walking distance of each other, and 1 (Spike Island) that is accesible by ferry only and on an island of itself.
Here are 5 museums that a Cobh visitor should find time to explore to learn more about Cobh’s rich maritime, historical and cultural past, and also on the part of Sirius Arts Centre, a space dedicated for art and its many disciplines.
Cobh Heritage Centre
If you are arriving by train or cruise, the Cobh Heritage Centre is your perfect introduction to what Cobh museums has to offer. The Heritage Centre has stuffs that cover Cobh’s association with RMS Titanic, prison tales and history of Spike Island, irish immigration stories, the Great Potato Famine, the very own local accounts of Cobh good old days, and many others, all in one roof. You can visit this museum shortly after you arrived at Cobh’s train station or hop off the cruise terminal.
There’s a certain gothic charm when you view the exterior of this former church that was turned into a musuem. Walk inside its tiled floor and limestone wall and you will be impressed with the architecture too. With permanent and revolving exhibits, the museum is small but full of Cobh history. Of prominence among its collection are records from the Lusitania sinking; it has burial list, newspaper clips, a deck chair from the ship and many more.
Located in the heart of town and on the original White Star Line office, the Titanic Experience is a must-see not just for Titanic movie and history afficianados, but also for a casual tourist. Cobh will forever be linked to one of the famous maritime disasters in history because this is the last port of call of the Titanic before the cruise liner sank. Don’t forget to keep your entrance ticket because at the end of the tour you would know whether the passenger name on your ticket had survived or not.
Sirius Arts Centre
A multi-disciplinary space for artist, Sirius Arts Centre is a breathe of fresh air for artist community in Cobh and the East Cork area. Housed in an elegant Italian-style building, SAC is on a mission to raise public awareness of arts through visual arts, music, workshops, artist programs, residency and more. Be sure to stop and enter the “red door” when in town.
Last and certainly not the least, Spike Island also has many names like Island Fortress, Island Prison and Island Home. Start the island tour with a scenic ferry ride from Cobh and then hop on the island with either a guided tour or self-guided one. You can spend a day here and immerse on the island’s elaborate history or just chill out on the big open field. Day and Night trip available too.
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