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The Black Abbey, Kilkenny

Just south of St. Canice’s Cathedral, you can find Kilkenny's Black Abbey. The abbey is named after the Dominican order of monks, known for their black capes, who founded it in 1225.


  • The priory was established in 1225 by William Marshall the younger, Earl of Pembroke.
  • Despite becoming a property of the British crown in 1540, Dominican communities remained there until sixty years. In 1603, they were eventually evicted, when it was ordered that the building become a courthouse.
  • Cromwell's forces destroyed the priory building in 1650, leaving only the walls.
  • In 1816, they Dominicans rebuilt a church on the site.
  • In 1979, the building was fully restored .


The abbey houses the famous five-gabled, stained glass Rosary Window, depicting the life of Christ in gleaming sapphire and ruby glass. Also featuring intricate stone carvings, Black Abbey is a true medieval marvel.


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