King John’s Castle stands steadfastly on Kings Island, its magnificent 13th-century ramparts towering above the River Shannon. Explore the fascinating medieval castle to uncover centuries of local history, dating back to the site’s original use as a Viking fortification. Investigate the historical exhibits and interpretive activities within the castle’s tall towers and spacious courtyards and admire one of the best-preserved Norman castles in Europe.
The castle has been a dominant feature of Limerick’s landscape since its construction in the early 1200s under the order of King John. Enter through the lordly stone entrance and find yourself in medieval times. Access to the formidable castle was not always this easy. The island was first used as a stronghold by early Vikings and later used as a port, trading center and watchtower for the growing city of Limerick.
The King John’s Castle Visitor Experience makes learning the fascinating history of this landmark fun for the whole family. The castle’s courtyard is filled with all the sights and sounds of the period. See the local blacksmith’s forge and watch for scenes from the castle’s 17th-century siege, played out by costumed guides.
Explore the castle’s vast halls and labyrinthine rooms and discover centuries of fascinating history through the castle’s multimedia displays and interactive exhibits.
See lifelike projections of medieval characters and imagine what life was like for the people who lived and worked within these thick stone walls. Check out 3-D models and animated films bringing the story of King John’s Castle to life. Let kids explore the Education and Activity Room.
Stop in the gift shop for medieval history books and souvenirs. Relax with views of the castle courtyard and the River Shannon at King John’s Castle’s café.
King John’s Castle is located on the waterfront on Kings Island and adjacent to Thomond Bridge. Reach the castle within a 20-minute walk from Limerick’s main transportation hub, Colbert Station. The King John’s Castle Visitor Experience provides access to the castle year-round. Admission includes a range of interactive experiences and performances. Discounts are available for children, families and seniors.