St Canice’s Cathedral
St Canice’s Cathedral has been at the heart of Kilkenny Arts Festival since the first edition in 1974, with many of the world's leading artists performing in this ancient space which is at once magnificent and intimate.
The cathedral is unique in Ireland both in retaining the iconic Round Tower from its earlier monastic history and also in its intact Cathedral Close, which includes the old Bishop's Palace, the Deanery, the Bishop's Library, the Organist's Cottage and surrounding lanes, buildings and gardens.
St Canice himself (or Caineach in Irish) established his monastic foundation on the hill in the mid-6th century, when the area was part of the Gaelic kingdom of Ossory (Osraighe). Indeed, the diocese is still named after this ancient realm. The present cathedral (the second-largest medieval church in Ireland after St Patrick's in Dublin) dates from the 13th century and is a marvelous example of the Early English Gothic style, with its rustic stone walls and hammerbeam timber ceiling giving a vernacular warmth and glorious acoustic which the Festival has used to great effect over the last four decades.
This venue is wheelchair friendly. If you require wheelchair seating, please contact the Festival Box Office on +353 56 7752175.
There is no parking available at this venue. Please use nearby St Canice’s Church and Black Abbey car parks.