Wexford Town

This coastal town is most famed for the Wexford Opera Festival, usually held in October, which has been seducing the world with wonderful productions of rare opera for more than 50 years. The warm and vivacious welcome, the narrow streets, and the atmospheric Theatre Royal add to the pleasure of this event and to any visit to Wexford Town.

From its appearance today, you would barely realize that Wexford is an ancient place, but in fact the Greek cartographer Ptolemy mapped it as long ago as the 2nd century AD. Its Irish name is Loch Garman, but the Vikings called it Waesfjord (the harbor of the mudflats), which became Wexford in English. Wexford developed into an English garrison town after it was captured by Oliver Cromwell in 1649.

Rising above the town's rooftops are the graceful spires of two elegant examples of 19th-century Gothic architecture. These twin churches have identical exteriors, their foundation stones were laid on the same day, and their spires each reach a height of 230 feet. The Church of the Assumption is on Bride Street. The Church of the Immaculate Conception is on Rowe Street.

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Fodor's Essential Ireland 2020

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