Sights in Cobh
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The howl of storms almost blows your hair, there's a bit of fake vomit and the people in the pictures all look pretty miserable. That's just one room at Cobh Heritage Centre. Housed in the old train station, this interactive museum is far above average. The room described above deals with the mass Famine emigrations across the Atlantic: trips where the people were green – and not with envy. Displays show how conditions improved – except for the Titanic or Lusitania, which have fateful links to Cobh.
There's also some shocking stuff on the fate of convicts, shipped to Australia in transport 'so airless that candles could not burn'. Scenes of sea travel in the 1950s,…
Standing dramatically above Cobh on a hillside terrace, this massive French Gothic Cathedral is out of all proportion to the unassuming town. Its most exceptional feature is the 47-bell carillon, the largest in Ireland, with a range of four octaves. The biggest bell weighs a stonking 3440kg – about as much as a full-grown elephant! You can hear carillon recitals at 4.30pm on Sundays between May and September.
The cathedral, designed by EW Pugin, was begun in 1868 but not completed until 1915. Much of the funding was raised by nostalgic Irish communities in Australia and the USA.
A small but lively museum is housed in the 19th-century Scottish Presbyterian church overlooking the train station. It holds model ships, paintings, photographs and curious artefacts tracing Cobh's history.