Talk about pubs and the first thing you’d picture is a bunch of men, downing beers, as “tavern music” conjures the perfect sonic backdrop for a bare knuckle fist-fight.
Haha, move over lore and snap back to reality. This Irish pub in Athlone, Ireland, claims to be the oldest pubs in the world that’s still in existence. It dates back to the… 9th century AD! Yes, the 9th century AD when the British lands saw a lot of Viking influx. The Vikings definitely loved their drinks!
It definitely is the oldest pub in Europe!
…..and might even be the oldest in the world (research hasn’t found a pub that’s older than Sean’s)! The Guinness Book of World Records 2004 validates the fact that it is in fact the oldest one in Ireland.
Perched on the banks of the River Shannon, this pub boasts of hosting common folk as well as some of the most celebrated names in the world, including the band U2, as well as scores of football and rugby stars.
History of Sean’s Bar:
It was initially established as an inn
….by a man named Luain (who gave his name to Athlone) for travellers who crossed the treacherous waters of the Shannon, onward to the ford.
In 1970, the walls of the pub were found to be made of “wattle and wicker” that dated back to the 9th century.
Old coins that were used for barter were also found to be dating to this period.
It is frequented by tourists from around the globe; some of them even make the pilgrimage from the other side of the world!
Relatively untouched by the passage of time, this bar sees tremendous footfall throughout the year. “Everyone is interested in everyone else here and complete strangers seem to find it very easy to chat away with other visitors”, says current owner Paul Donovan.
Luain built the floor at a slight angle that sloped towards the River Shannon, in order to drain away the rainwater.
So, people can never be sure if the floor is actually tilted or they’ve gotten a little too tipsy!
Walking into the pub will make you feel as if you’ve arrived at some place unique! Right from the sawdust on the floor to the Victorian-esque open turf fireplace and the musicians playing out soulful tunes in the corner.