County cork

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Philipps-Universität Marburg
Fachbereich 10: Fremdsprachliche Philologien
Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
PS: The Landscape of Ireland
Leitung: Madeleine Kinsella
Hausarbeit von Mathias Weber

County Cork

County Cork

The aim of this term paper is to give an overview of the county Cork, beginning with its geographical location then present some historical events that are relevant to the history of Cork and finally show the places of interest, both of the county Cork and of the city itself.

The population amounts to 400,000 inhabitants according to the CSO and the principal city, Cork city, covers an area of 378 hectares with about 120,000 inhabitants. County Cork also includes 640 km of coastline with many beaches, steep cliffs, making the importance of the sea play an even greater importance since Cork has one the principal harbor of Ireland. It connects Ireland to France (Roscoff, Le Havre) and the United Kingdom (Swansea). Until the sixties it used to be the starting point of many steamers for America and also the departure point of three million Irishmen who emigrated to the “new world'; in the 19th. This port has in fact contributed a lot to the economic and commercial development of Cork and the whole of Ireland. The climate is also largely influenced by the ocean: soft, wet and windy thus allowing a great variety in flora and fauna.

Cork derives from the Irish ‘Corcah Mor Mumham’ and means the ‘great Marsh of Munster’ and refers to the fact that the center of Cork city is built on islands, surrounded by the River Lee, which were marshy and prone to episodes of flooding. Some of the waterways between the islands were built over to form some of the main streets of present day Cork. The oblong shape of the city center island, bounded by the north and south channel of the Lee give Cork much of its physical charm. Spencer even immortalized the unusual topography of the city when he wrote:
“The spreading Lee that like an island fayre encloseth Cork with his divided flood';

Even tough a few prehistoric artifacts have been found, the monastery of Cork represents one of the earliest evidence of human settlement in this region. As said earlier the sea played an important role in the history of Cork as the first foreign known settlers came using maritime means: the Vikings frequently raided isolated monasteries. An attack by the Vikings is reported to have taken place around Cork in 802; they raided the abbey and the settlement nearby.
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