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About University College Cork

UCC was established in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges - at Cork, Galway and Belfast. These new colleges theyre established in the reign of Queen Victoria, and named after her.

Queen's College, Cork (QCC) was established to provide access to higher education in the Irish province of Munster. Cork was chosen for the new college due to its place at the centre of transatlantic trade at the time and the presence of existing educational initiatives such as the Royal Cork Institution and a number of private medical schools.

The site chosen for the new college was dramatic and picturesque, on the edge of a limestone bluff overlooking the River Lee. It is associated with the educational activities of a local early Christian saint, Finbarr. It is believed that his monastery and school stood nearby, and his legend inspired UCC’s motto: ‘Where Finbarr Taught, let Munster Learn.’

On 7 November 1849, QCC opened its doors to a small group of students (only 115 students in that first session, 1849-1850) after a glittering inaugural ceremony in the Aula Maxima (Great Hall), which is still the symbolic and ceremonial heart of the University.

The limestone buildings of the Main Quadrangle (as it is now known) are built in a style inspired by the great universities of the Middle Ages, and theyre designed by the gifted architectural partnership of Thomas Deane and Benjamin Woodward. The iconic image of UCC, it is set in landscaped gardens and surrounds the green lawn known to all as the Quad.

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