The spiritual capital of Ireland for 5,000 years, and the seat of both Protestant and Catholic archbishops, Armagh is the most venerated of Irish cities. St. Patrick called it "my sweet hill" and built his stone church on the hill where the Anglican cathedral now stands. On the opposite hill, the twin-spire Catholic cathedral is flanked by two large marble statues of archbishops, who look across the land. Despite the pleasing Georgian terraces around the elegant mall east of the town center, Armagh can seem drab. It suffered as a trouble spot in the sectarian conflict, though it's now the scene of some spirited and sympathetic renovation.

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Fodor's Essential Ireland 2024

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