County Limerick is mostly a land of quaint rural charm and tradition, by contrast the city of Limerick, a vibrant and bustling city of important cultural significance.
Apart from the rolling green mountains bordering Co. Tipperary, most of the Limerick countryside is low-lying farmland set besides the banks of the River Shannon. Set within this rural landscape is the picturesque village of Adare one of Ireland's prettiest villages with a selection of thatched cottages set beside the River Maigue. A few kilometres away is one of Ireland's most important archaeological sites at Lough Gur with remains of a settlement from 5000 years ago.
Contrasting with the sleepy country villages, Limerick City is a busy and well-developed city, straddling the banks of the River Shannon. The city has an interesting history, founded by the Vikings, but taken over by the Irish, Limerick was developed and fortified by the Anglo-Normans during the middle ages. King John's Castle overlooking the river still stands as a reminder of this era. Limerick is remembered by many as the setting for Frank McCourt's book Angela's Ashes, though the city has been much modernised from the desperate times described in McCourt's time and today Limerick is a vibrant multi-cultural city.
The River Shannon plays an important role for Limerick, a few kilometres from the city along the estuary is the main port of Foynes, which for many years served as the main transatlantic seaplane base in Ireland.
Limerick is highly regarded in the sports of Hurling and Rugby; indeed it is regarded by many as the home of Munster Rugby.
As well as Frank McCourt, Limerick's famous sons and daughters include the late actor Richard Harris, UK broadcaster Terry Wogan as well as Rose Fitzgerald, mother of J F Kennedy.