Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s heritage week walking tours, which included one on the history of Douglas Village have been unfortunately cancelled next week. Cllr McCarthy recently had emergency surgery on two herniated discs in his lower back and is currently recovering; “I am really gutted to be missing Cork Heritage Open Day and Heritage Week this year. It’s my first year since the creation of National Heritage Week where I won’t be able to run my tours in different parts of Cork City. I encourage Corkonians and visitors to explore other activities listed on Home | National Heritage Week 18 – 26 August 2018.
Cllr McCarthy in particular noted that the organisation of Cork Heritage Open Day on this Saturday 18 August is “akin to Christmas Day for art, architecture and built heritage lovers”. The Open Day celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Last year it was estimated that there were over 18,000 visits to the 42 buildings and events on the day. The Open Day is organised by Cork City Council as part of National Heritage Week and the team works closely with building owners, local historians and communities who give their time free of charge. The success of the event lies with the people behind the buildings who open their doors willingly every year to allow the public a glimpse of the amazing and unique built heritage of Cork City.
“It is always a great opportunity to explore behind some of Cork’s grandest buildings. With the past of a port city, Cork architecture is varied and much is hidden amongst the city’s narrow streets and laneways. Much of its architecture is also inspired by international styles – the British style of artwork pervading in most cases– but it’s always pays to look up in Cork and marvel at the Amsterdamesque-style of our eighteenth-century structures on streets such as Oliver Plunkett Street or at the gorgeous tall spires of the city’s nineteenth-century churches.
Cllr McCarthy continued: “With 42 buildings open to the public for Cork Heritage Open Day it is almost impossible to visit them all in one day. It takes a few goes to get to them all and spend time appreciating their physical presence in our city but also the often-hidden context of why such buildings and their communities came together and their contribution to the modern day urban landscape of the city. The team behind the Open Day do group the buildings into general themes, Steps and Steeples, Customs and Commerce, Medieval to Modern, Saints and Scholars and Life and Learning – one can walk the five trails to discover a number of buildings within these general themes. These themes remind the participant to remember how our city spread from the marsh to the undulating hills surrounding it – how layered the city’s past is”.