Strategically located at the point where the Shannon, Ireland’s longest river meets the sea, Limerick has been a military stronghold since its foundation by the Vikings in the 10th century.
After the Anglo-Norman invasion in the late 12th century, Limerick became a fortress city, its famed walls defending many sieges and rebellions throughout the following centuries. Located on the banks of the River Shannon, King John’s Castle is one of the finest and best preserved castles in Ireland.
It formed the strongpoint of Limerick’s defences, which stretched for over 3 kilometres, today a quarter of the medieval town wall remains standing: a formidable reminder of Limerick’s martial history.
It was from Limerick, after the siege of 1691 that Patrick Sarsfield led the celebrated Wild Geese into exile, serving in numerous armies across Europe with distinction. The military heritage of Limerick is remembered in its motto, ‘Urbs antiqua fuit studisque asperrima belli’, An ancient city studied in the arts of war.