Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is situated in the heart of the Midlands, on the banks of the river Shannon adjacent to St Peter and Pauls Church and the Luan Gallery. It was reopened in November 2012 following extensive renovations. The 13th century Norman castle now boasts 8 new exhibition spaces that tell the story of the castle, Athlone town, its people and the surrounding area. There is certainly something for all ages and interests at Athlone Castle. The spaces have been designed to be very interactive and the visitor is encouraged to get hands on and engage with the rooms as they move through them.
There has been a castle at Athlone since the 12th century which highlights its importance as a crossing on the river Shannon into Connaught. Athlone was seen as the gateway to Connaught.
Athlone was the setting for many battles down through the centuries. Probably the most famous is the siege of Athlone in 1690 and 1691. The story of the siege and the fighting that was ongoing is brought to life at Athlone Castle through illustrations by renowned illustrator Victor Ambrus. During a spectacular 360 degree audio visual presentation, a re-enactment of the siege of Athlone is experienced, transporting the visitor to the centre of the battle field surrounded by cannon fire. Afterwards you will be introduced to life-size sculptures of the soldiers who fought here from both sides of the war. These impressive figures are made from recycled materials. They were created by a specialist group of designers who have made props for films such as Harry Potter and James Bond.
As well as learning about this important battle you will also hear about the early settlers in the town, how the castle developed in its early years and see a wonderful collection of artefacts highlighting Athlone’s more recent history.
Visitors to the castle also get the chance to explore our handling collection and learn through the artefacts how people lived in the past. There are educational resources that can add a further dimension to the visitor experience. Throughout the summer and for national holidays we also host fairs, events and talks that can be a great day out for family and friends.
At Athlone Castle you can sit down and enjoy some refreshments in the café area located in the reception. There is seating for 16 with extra seating outside. The Failte Ireland tourist office is also located in the castle courtyard. There are a number of impressive viewing points that the visitor can explore while outside that highlight all that Athlone town, in the heart of Ireland, has to offer. Athlone hosts a number of fairs and festivals throughout the year that offer fun-filled activities for all. If you are looking for somewhere central to travel with a lot to offer, from museums and galleries to shopping, then come to Athlone, the heart of the Midlands.
090 64 42130