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    Bunratty Castle & Folk ArtBunratty Castle & Folk Art Shannon, Ireland
    this castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in the nation, constructed in 1425, and then eventually restored in 1954 to its best condition and now houses 15th and 16th century tapestries, works of art and furnishings. There are houses and cottages located at the base of the castle, like it was so many centuries ago, located inside Bunratty Folk Park, but the castle holds most visitors attention especially with the outstanding collection of medieval furniture. The Bunratty collection contains more than 450 pieces of medieval furniture and relics, which becomes the stage for medieval banquets in the evenings, all year long. The castle grounds contain a wonderful formal garden that was modeled after the original Regency period garden that would supply the house and its residents with vegetables, fruits and flowers and has been restored to a Victorian style of house garden that was atypical then. The castle sits on 26 acres that looks out over the Shannon River, and had been originally a Viking fortified settlement that was surrounded by a moat. In 1250, a Norman named Robert De Muscegros would construct the first wooden fort there, and then later, the property would become owned by another Norman named Thomas De Clare who constructed the first stone castle here in the 1270s, and his son, Richard would be killed in a battle between the Irish and Normans. In this battle, the castle and town would be destroyed, and then rebuilt by the King of England.

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    The Cliffs of MoherThe Cliffs of Moher Shannon, Ireland
    the cliffs of Moher can be seen in the parish of Liscannor that lies at the southwest edge of the Burren area near Doolin, that is found in County Clare, Ireland. These magnificent cliffs rise up almost 400 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head and reach their highest point of 700 plus feet north of O'Brien's Tower. The views that visitors can get from the cliffs attract almost a million visitors each year, and on a clear day, the Aran Islands can be seen in Galway Bay, as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara. The cliffs are made mostly from Namurian shale and sandstone, with the oldest rocks located at the base of the cliffs. The area is home to many birds and animals, with about 30,000 birds living here that represent 20 species and include Atlantic puffins, shags, ravens, hawks, choughs, gulls and guillemots.

January 12, 2014