Capital of County Kilkenny, the town of Kilkenny is often referred to as the “Marble City.” It is the most interesting and best preserved of the medieval Irish cities. It owes its immense charm to the various impressive historical monuments. A medieval city of 24,000 people it is characterized by many beautifully restored buildings and winding slipways ~ it is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of fascinating historical buildings and contemporary shops, design galleries and restaurants. The town is dominated by 12th century Kilkenny Castle, built by the Normans on their arrival in this part of Ireland. There are a number of other interesting visits to be made while in Kilkenny. No visit of Kilkenny can be considered complete without a visit to the following venues, the Black and Grey Abbeys, Rothe House, the Smithwicks Brewery and the Shee Alms house – which today is used as the local tourist office.