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County Armagh, sitting on the border with the republic, has been inhabited since around 7,000 BC. In the county's main city, of the same name, you'll find much of its architecture is influenced by the Georgians but the city itself is much, much older. This is evident in that the city can trace it's roots back to Saint Patrick. The saint had a great resolve to establish Armagh as the centre of Christian teaching and learning for the whole of Ireland. The city is home to two cathedrals dedicated to him; the Church of Ireland cathedral is on the site of Saint Patrick's original and is the final resting place of Brian Boru. The famous Irish High King is know for being the only High King of Ireland to rule the whole of Ireland and died after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
The Navan Centre & Fort was built as a ceremonial site in the late Iron Age and is associated with the legendary Kings and Queens of Ulster and heroic figures such as Cu Chulainn. The site is seeped in myths and legends while providing many interesting discoveries for the modern day archaeologist. One of the site's greatest finds is a large Celtic temple said to be built by the legendary Queen Macha in 95BC.
Armagh Planetarium is Ireland’s first full dome three-dimensional digital theatre. Computer guided “star shows” allow visitors to see eerie planet surfaces. A new projection system accurately recreates the beauty of the night sky and takes you on voyages to distant worlds.
Want to get a great overview of County Armagh? The Armagh County Museum is ideal for getting a feel for the Orchard County. The county's rich and varied legacy is revealed in objects and exhibition ranging from throughout history. The museum is packed full of fascinating information and its exhibitions are ever changing. Founded in 1771 by Archbishop Richard Robinson, Armagh Public Library was envisioned to lead to the founding of a university to help better the city of Armagh. As well as the Archbishop's own personal collection, the library is filled with rare books; many of which have historical significance.
Saint Patrick’s Trian Visitor Complex is definitely well worth a visit. It hosts three entertaining and fascinating exhibitions. Celebrating the area's connection to reknown author Jonathan Swift and his most famous work; Gulliver's Travels. In the Land of Lilliput exhibition, the story of Gulliver’s Travels is narrated by a 20-foot giant as part of the interactive exhibition. In The Armagh Story, explores County Armagh's history using its ancient monuments, myths and legends, the arrival of Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Written here by 9th Century monks, the Book of Armagh's accounts can be found in Patrick’s Testament. Here you'll discover more about Saint Patrick, his life and his connections to County Armagh.
Gosford Forest Park is only a few miles from the city. Founded by the Acheson family in the 17th century, Gosford Forest Park is filled with a diverse woodland of various species of tree and plenty of open parkland. The park features a deer enclosure, rare animal breeds collection, mill ponds and arboretum; each of which is open all year round. Jonathan Swift’s ties to Gosford Park are apparent in the places named after him: Dean Swift’s chair, Swift’s Well and Draper’s Hill.
Found on the southern peninsula of Lough Neagh, Oxford Island National Nature Reserve hosts a number of guided tours, nature walks and bird-watching sessions. The Lough Neagh Discovery Centre organises regular conservation and environmental events and exhibitions.