St Canice's Cathedral

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  • Moments in Kilkenny History

St. Canice's has been a Christian site since the sixth century. It was built between 1202 and 1285 and is the second longest cathedral in Ireland.

Most of the cathedral is preserved in its original style. This includes stained-glass windows, a choir stall with decorated carvings and a floor which is paved with different coloured marble from the four provinces of Ireland.


It was Bishop O'Deleaney's wish that a cathedral be built on the site of the old monastic settlement of Saint Canices. From 1120 on, the seat of Ossory had moved from Aghaboe to Kilkenny but no new building was erected to mark this move.

The Bishop understood how important the Normans were to Kilkenny. He asked them to fund the building of a place of worship and a symbol of importance to Kilkenny itself.

Sadly, Bishop O'Deleaney passed away before the Cathedral was completed.

Round Tower

Beside the cathedral stands a round tower. It was built in the 9th century. It was probably used as a watchtower and refuge in pre-Norman times.

The round tower is roughly 100 feet tall and can be climbed by visitors. At the top is the best view of Kilkenny found anywhere. Be careful though as the tower slopes a bit towards the cathedral so it can be quite a dizzying experience.