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Kildare is a small market town on the busy Cork-Dublin road. Horse-breeding is the basis on which the economy of the town thrives. The Silken Thomas Square gives the town a lot of character.
Dominating the town is St. Brigid's Cathedral. She is remembered every year in the making of the St. Brigid's Crosses on the 1st of February. She founded a religious centre in the town which survived until the 16th century. The cathedral itself was built in the 13th century and is one of the finest Protestant cathedrals in the country. The 10th century round tower in the grounds of the cathedral is the second highest in the country standing at 31.5m.
The Irish National Stud is 1/2 mile outside the town centre. On the hour every hour, tours take place into such places as the intensive care unit for foals as well as all the other stables. The Irish Horse Museum is also worth a visit. It shows the role horses play in Irish life as well as showing the feats of the much loved horse Arkle, said to be the greatest horse that Ireland has ever produced. This museum also houses the great Arkle's skeleton.
Also within the grounds of the National Stud are the famous Japanese Gardens. These took 4 years to complete. The gardens symbolise the passage through the Life of Man and leaflets are available to explain the symbolism within the garden. The stud and gardens are open from February to November.