Sean’s Bar is a pub in Athlone, Ireland, notable for its claim of being established around AD 900, which would make it the oldest bar in Ireland and possibly the world!
As you can see from these photos, the owners like to change up the exterior colors on a fairly regular basis. Just part of the charm!
Archaeological evidence indicates that parts of the building in which Sean’s operates are at least a millennium old! During a 1970s renovation, materials and coins that were found in the walls were dated by the National Museum of Ireland to be from 900 AD.
Guinness World Records certified that Sean’s Bar is the oldest public house in Ireland but didn’t agree on a specific date of establishment.
Nonetheless, the bar’s owners claim to possess a list of previous owners going back centuries, and they also contend that the pub has been continuously operating since 900 AD, although this has not been verified historically or scientifically.
Who cares how old it actually is? This place has seen some history!
Situated in central of Ireland halfway between Dublin and Galway, Sean’s Bar hosts visitors from around the world. Listed in both “25 of the Most Incredible Bars in the World” and “50 Bars to Blow Your Mind” by Lonely Planet, Sean’s bar is packed with history and memorabilia.
A lot of its character is in the décor, with an old bar, antique fireplace, floors covered in sawdust and walls covered with many ancient artifacts. Sean’s Bar also regularly hosts traditional Irish music which only adds to the magical atmosphere.
Here’s that gorgeous old fireplace:
And here are some Irish musicians doing their thing:
A view from the front of the bar toward the back:
And look at this preserved wall that was exposed during the 1970s renovations:
It shows the “wattle and wicker” – an ancient method of making walls that used a mixture of woven lattice and a combination of clay, wet soil, sand, straw, and animal dung.
Here’s a closer look:
Isn’t that amazing?
The ambiance here is so warm and cozy.
It would be fun to just wander around looking at all the artifacts and memorabilia.
Below is the backside of the building which features a canal-side outdoor beer garden.
The beer garden overlooks the Ford of Luain.
Sean’s Bar in Ireland is completely enchanting and not many other bars can make the claim…
Serving pints for over 1100 years!