Cork's Elizabeth Fort saw an 11% increase in visitor numbers last year.
The historic Barrack Street fort welcomed 61,815 visitors from Ireland, the US, Germany, the UK, Spain, Germany and further afield.
Elizabeth Fort Manager Peter Looney said: “Elizabeth Fort is increasingly appearing on lists and blogs about top attractions in Cork."
"Visitors love the view of the wider city that it offers and the many photo opportunities that it provides due to props that we have in place like the much-loved pillory. Visitors also love its varied history over the years from being built as a fortress in 1601 to its use by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and as a Garda Barracks. What is unique also about it is that is has survived within Cork’s city centre”.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn congratulated the team at Elizabeth Fort. "There was a long campaign to open up Elizabeth Fort to the public and these kind of figures validate those efforts. We need to continue to invest in it to ensure visitors get an enhanced experience... a visitor/ interpretative centre would be fantastic. Well done to all the team there.’’
Key events on Cork’s cultural calendar, St. Patrick’s Day, Cork Heritage Day and Culture Night are all celebrated at Elizabeth Fort.
The Fort has drawn TV and fashion magazine interest with RTÉ’s Ecoeye and a French documentary ‘Invitation Au Voyage’ filmed there, while the Irish Examiner’s Weekend magazine also did a fashion shoot on site last year.
The Maritime, Military and Industrial Atlantic Heritage (MMIAH) Project, of which Cork City Council is one of nine European project partners, aims to recover disused elements of maritime, military and industrial heritage through new social and economic actions. Elizabeth Fort is the focus of the MMIAH project in Cork city.
Entry to the fort is free, although there is a nominal charge of €3 for adults (children under 12 go free) for a guided walking tour along the walls.