Walk into any pub in Ireland and you’re bound to find an establishment whose history is etched within its walls. This is certainly the case with Sean’s Bar in Athlone. As Travel Awaits reports, the business is the oldest pub in Ireland and possibly the world.
With a structure dating back to 900 CE, Sean’s Bar has a long history on the Emerald Isle. According to the caption shared on the company’s website, the original owner, an innkeeper named Luain Mac Luighdeach, guided travelers across the nearby River Shannon before a bridge was built. Gradually the town of Athlone grew around the waypoint and Luain’s Inn.
Renovations in 1970 revealed the true age of the building, and part of the old structure has been preserved for guests to view. The more recent history of the pub is also part of the decor. In 1968 Sean Fitzsimons purchased the property and changed the name. The walls display the records of all the bar’s previous owners, including a certificate bearing the name of musician Boy George, who owned the business for a brief period in 1987.
Were it not for the 1100 year old section of the wall and the framed letter from the Guinness Book Of World Records declaring it the oldest pub in Ireland, it would be easy to confuse Sean’s with many other bars in the country. There is a dark wooden bar, a fireplace and a traditional Irish band playing there regularly. And of course, Sean’s Bar serves Guinness on tap as well as a selection of its own Irish whiskeys.
Guinness World Records didn’t name Sean’s Bar the oldest pub in the world, but with no apparent competition, the establishment didn’t shy away from bearing the unofficial title. Here are some of the oldest companies still in operation in the world.
[h/t Travel Awaits]