Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is a major tourist attraction in the town of Athlone and features both the visitor centre itself and the new Luan Art Gallery.
Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is a major tourist attraction in the town of Athlone and features both the Castle Visitor Centre and the new Luan Art Gallery. The castle is of Norman origin and dominates the town centre of Athlone, County Westmeath. It commands the traditional gateway to the west of Ireland.
The first real signs of settlement at Athlone grew up in Anglo Norman times around the castle, which was built for King John of England by his Irish justiciar Bishop John De Gray of Norwich. Though not the first castle to be built at Athlone, this castle has endured like no other. Looking at it today it still incorporates elements of the castle of 1210, together with various additions and alterations which were made in response to advances in warfare. It has many of the characteristics of a Napoleonic fortification as it was remodeled during that period to defend the crossing point of the Shannon.