Cork City

In this Section

Cork the City


The name ‘Cork’ derives from the Irish ‘Corcach Mór na Mumhan’ which means the ‘great marsh of Munster’ and refers to the fact that the centre of Cork City is built on islands, surrounded by the River Lee, which were marshy and prone to episodes of flooding.


The waterways between the islands were built over to form some of the main streets of present-day Cork. The oblong-like shape of the centre-city island, bounded by the north and south channels of the Lee gives Cork City much of its physical charm. The topography of the city centre inspired Spenser’s lines: “The spreading Lee, that like an island fayre Encloseth Corke with his divided flood”.

Modern Cork history is both facinating and turbulent. From the Titanic's last port of call in 1913 to the country's famous battle for independence led by Corkman General Michael Collins (pictured here) - a trip to our museums to discover the city and county's history is a must.  

 Michael Collins