Market town and tourist centre in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland; population (2002) 9,500. It is a famous beauty spot in Ireland; the mountain range Macgillycuddy's Reeks and the Lakes of Killarney lie to the southwest. Industries include hosiery and container cranes. The Catholic Cathedral of St Mary was designed by Pugin in 1855. The 19th-century Church of Ireland St Mary's Church is noted for its rich internal decoration. The National Museum of Irish Transport is located at Killarney.
The Lakes of Killarney The Lakes of Killarney are 2 km/1.3 miles from the town, and are enclosed by wood-crowned mountains. The lower lake, called Lough Leane, is dotted with 30 wooded islands, the most important being Inisfallen Island, with the beautiful ruins of the abbey, founded about AD 600. Between 950 and 1320 the Annals of Inisfallen were written here; the manuscript is now held at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Muckross Abbey, which was built by the Franciscans about 1440, is on a peninsula which divides the lower lake from the middle lake or Lough Torc (also known as Lough Muckross). The upper lake connects with the middle and lower lakes by means of the Long Range, a channel 4 km/2.5 mi long.
Other places of great beauty in the area are Mount Torc (537 m/1,762 ft) and Mount Purple (835 m/2,740 ft, so called because it is covered in heather in summer); the gardens at Muckross; and the famous gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain gorge. Of historic interest are the church at Aghado, and the ruins of Ross Castle, a large, heavily fortified, 14th-century construction on the shore of Lough Leane. The 19th-century Muckross House in Killarney National Park houses a folk museum.
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