King John Castle has been upgraded into high-tech attraction

Medieval Castle gets 21st-Century Makeover Transforming it into a Major Ireland Attraction

The imposing medieval King John's Castle, which sits in the heart of Limerick City in western Ireland, reopened following a multi-million euro makeover. The 800-year-old castle now boasts a new visitor experience which presents the dramatic history and archaeology of the site in an exciting, modern and multi-sensory way.

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Built between 1200 and 1212 by King John brother of Richard the Lionheart, associated with legends such as Robin Hood and the Knights' of the Round Table. John, Lord of Ireland, though not as popular as his brother, was a formidable force in battle and when he set about claiming territory in Ireland, he certainly made his mark in Limerick.

This latest facelift introduces state-of-the-art 21st-century interpretative technology that will make the castle one of the principal visitor attractions in the region.

Interactive exhibitions, multi-media presentations and computer generated animations and projections are just some of the techniques used to bring the history of the castle to life and make a visit there both fun and educational for children and adults alike. The makeover introduces 21st century touch screen technology, 3 D models and discovery drawer to connect visitors to tales of siege and warfare. Children will love the dazzling array of computer generated animations and ghostly projections as they travel back through time.

The hands-on history approach includes a chance to dress up in medieval clothing and to experience the sights and sounds of the past recreated in the castle courtyard in a medieval campaign tent, a blacksmith's forge and scenes from a 17th-century siege.

Costumed guides are on hand to tell tales of the castle's turbulent times and an archaeological dig in the grounds has been left open to allow views of the great medieval hall.

Impressively located on King's Island in the centre of Limerick, the castle overlooks the River Shannon and from its high turret towers offers panoramic views over the city.

King John's Castle retains many of the pioneering features, which made its construction unique for the day. Its massive gate house, battlements and corner towers await your exploration while the armoury and its contents remain as evidence of its turbulent history. Its renovation to include the most up-to-date technology is fitting as, in its day, with its massive gate house, battlements and round corner towers King John's was a state-of-the-art defensive castle.

The reopening of King John's Castle is timely given that in 2014 Limerick takes on the mantle of Ireland's first National City of Culture.

The city is planning a vibrant programme of cultural, sporting and culinary events for the year which aims to reposition Limerick as one of the Emerald Isle's must see cities.

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Updated: November 27, 2016

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