The other day I went to Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork for the first time. We had booked tickets online and had the code ready for when we arrived.
It’s in a really beautiful location, right next to the river. We quickly joined the latest tour (which luckily had only started around two minutes before we came in). The castle was originally built to keep pirates away around 1582. But funnily enough when it was built there were no more pirate raids! It was used as several things in the hundreds of years after that such as an apartment building, an event hall, a restaurant, a lighthouse, a fort and many more things aside.
The castle burned down in 1722 and was rebuilt only to be burned down again in 1827. It was rebuilt and in some parts redesigned by James and G.R. Pain in 1828 and 1829. Even though it’s a castle, no royalty has ever lived in it. It was a pretty informative tour!
After that we went down the turret stairs and saw the couple of rooms down there. My favourite one of those rooms was a room were the owners of the castle might have shot a cannonball at enemy ships. If you pushed a button you would hear a (long) conversation that a crewmate and a captain might have had, looking out for ships without regulation lanterns and shooting it with a cannon. My whole family jumped when the conversation started (including myself, and I was the one who pushed it.)
Next we went upstairs and went through a simulation where you had to save the world from a meteor that’s going to smash into the earth. It finished with us pretty much failing miserably, but luckily it narrowly missed the Earth by about that much —> ( ). We got pretty lucky.
Tubes of Information
My favourite part of the whole thing, though was probably these interactive tubes, when you pressed one it would tell you about something like:
- Who Owns Space? (No one)
- How many advanced alien civilisations should there be in our galaxy? (Around a thousand, so why haven’t they contacted?)
- How the universe will end (probably a Big Crunch, the Big Bang backwards) and many other questions.
Another thing I really liked was this screen where you could put your opinion in for questions after hearing other people’s points of view. There was also a planetarium show. Overall it was a great day, quite informative too.
We did find out that in the not too distant future there will be big changes to the exhibits there, so we shall definately return at a later date when they have changed over as well!
HAVE YOU BEEN TO BLACKROCK CASTLE? OR ARE YOU GOING? PLEASE TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT AND SUGGEST OTHER PLACES I CAN GO TOO. THIS IS CIARA, SIGNING OFF. SEE YOU SOON!!! 🙂