14 Mar 2023

The stage is set for cultural highlights at Cork’s 17th century Elizabeth Fort

A brand new outdoor stage has been launched at Elizabeth Fort in Cork City following extensive upgrade works on the heritage site.  The stage will be offered to culture and arts groups for a variety of performances in the historic setting.

new stage launched in historic fortress

Similar outdoor stages are a popular feature of cultural life in continental Europe, enticing visitors to locations for special one off events.  It is hoped a diverse calendar of performances will draw people from every interest, age group and activity type to the historic spot, furthering its aims of contributing to the cultural and tourist offering in the city.

Elizabeth Fort is a 17th century structure with striking views from its walls of the surrounding city. In addition to its military defensive duties, it has been used a military barracks and a prison, similar to tourist attractions in County Cork like Spike Island. The distinctive star shape employed in its construction makes it an early example of the defensive military technology.

Elizabeth FOrt Under consruction – Philip Armstrong

In addition to the works to craft the stage, on-site benches were retrofitted, technical facilities improved and its parade ground resurfaced, ahead of what is hoped to be a busy tourist season in 2023.  Cork Airport and other Irish tourism providers are advising of robust bookings and demand, more in line with pre-Covid 2019 figures.

Commenting on the launch, Lord Mayor of Cork City, Cllr. Deirdre Forde said:

“The improvements to Elizabeth Fort are a welcome investment in this important heritage site. They make the most of the potential of the Fort by opening it up as a place for people to gather and enjoy cultural events”

While Cork City Council Chief Executive Ann Doherty said:

“Enhancement of Elizabeth Fort as an outdoor public space adds a valuable amenity to Barrack Street and the city centre and I would like to thank the Department of Tourism Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for their support in making these improvements possible.

Any groups hoping to make use of the new stage should contact tourism@corkcity.ie

Learn more about cultural festivals and events happening in Cork here –