The third largest city of the Republic (70,000 inhabitants) is situated on the Shannon, the longest river in Ireland. Celts and Normans left their marks in this town, and in 1691, after the Battle of the Boyne, the Treaty of Limerick was signed on a stone, known as the Treaty Stone, that has become a landmark of Limerick.
The oldest part of Limerick is King's Island with its narrow medieval streets and King John's Castle, which was built by the Normans in the 13th century. The castle is now a museum that portrays over 800 years of the city's and Ireland's history.
Among the Irish, Limerick is known as »Stab City«. Once a tourist, who had heard of Limerick's bad reputation, wanted to know whether people really get stabbed to death in this Irish town. But an Irishman reassured him, »Of course not! They just shoot each other now.« ;o)
But actually, Limerick has improved a lot recently and it has become quite a tourist attraction. Shannon airport is nearby; therefore many people stop over in Limerick before starting their tour of Ireland. Besides, Frank McCourt's novel Angela's Ashes has made the city known around the world, and walking tours of the Angela's Ashes area of Limerick are popular among tourists.
About 10 km outside of Limerick is Bunratty Castle and Folk Park where you can learn about Irish life in the 19th century. The pubs and restaurants of the Folk Park offer a rich variety of traditional Irish food, and in the castle you can take part in a medieval banquet.
All over the world the city is famous for the limericks, humorous verses consisting of five lines. You don't know what limericks are? Here are two limericks for you:
There was an old man in Peru
Who dreamt he had eaten his shoe.
He woke up in the night
With a terrible fright
And found it was perfectly true.
There was a young lady in Riga
Who smiled when she rode on a tiger.
They came back from the ride
With the lady inside
And the smile on the face of the tiger.