Kildare

From Academic Kids

Kildare (Cill Dara in Irish, meaning "church of the oaks") is a town in County Kildare in the Republic of Ireland. Although it gives its name to the county, Kildare is not the county town, that honour going instead to Naas. The town lies some 50 km west of Dublin, near enough for it to have become, despite being a regional centre in its own right, a commuter town for the capital.

Kildare is home to the Irish National Stud and the Japanese Gardens. Much of the surrounding countryside in County Kildare is used for horse breeding. The Curragh racecourse is not far Kildare town.

The town has good rail links not only to Dublin but also to the south (Waterford), the southwest (Cork, Limerick, and Tralee), and west of the country (Galway and Mayo). Kildare lies close to the M7 motorway from Dublin to Limerick, which leads to the N8 Dublin - Cork route.

In pre-Christian times Kildare was the site of a shrine to the Celtic goddess Brigid. Following the introduction of Christianity in the 5th and 6th centuries it became the foundation of the Christian Saint Brigid who founded a unique monastery of monks and nuns on the site of the present cathedral.

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