Franz Liszt’s visit to Cobh

Cobh has long been a destination of choice for the discriminating traveller. Second only to Queen Victoria, perhaps the most famous visitor to the harbour town was the celebrated Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist Franz Liszt (1811-1886). A concert tour of Ireland in the winter of 1840 included several performances in Cork city.   On Tuesday 29 December, he decided to take a break and from the several places he could have visited opted to come down river to Cobh to enjoy the sea air and the scenery.   He then went into the Naval Hotel located at 1 East Beach, according to Coleman “by far the oldest hotel in the town” (“History of the Great Island”, 1923).   This later became The European Hotel and is currently called “An Poc Fada”. Here Liszt enjoyed a lunch of oysters and cold turkey with Irish bread and butter and stout.   Obviously a man of taste!

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