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Cork is Ireland's third city after Dublin and Belfast, and has always been an important seaport. It began on an island in the swampy estuary of the River Lee and gradually climbed up the steep banks on either side. Today the river flows through Cork city in two main channels, so that you find yourself constantly crossing bridges.
Some of the main streets are built over channels where ships nuzzled their anchor-chains a century ago. Cork City is a vibrant place with a unique blend of contemporary style and old world charm. It is renowned for its culinary flair and vibrant culture scene. Steeped in history, Cork City is fast gaining a reputation as one of Europe's best cities. Like Venice, the city is built upon water, and the city centre is built on an island in the River Lee, just upstream of Cork Harbour. The two channels of the River Lee which embrace the city centre are spanned by many bridges, and this gives the city a distinctive continental air.
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