Irish prison site named Europe's top tourist attraction

Roshina Jowaheer

Spike Island in Cork Harbour, Ireland has been named Europe's leading tourist attraction at the World Travel Awards 2017.

SEE ALSO: Titanic Belfast named world's best tourist attraction at Tourism Oscars

SEE ALSO: Guinness Storehouse named Europe's best tourist attraction

The 104-acre island, which was a monastic settlement in the 7th century, a fort in the 18th century and a prison in the 19th century, beat famous sites including Rome's Colosseum, La Sagrada Familia in Spain and Buckingham Palace at the prestigious travel awards.

Cork's County Mayor told the Evening Echo: "This award is recognition of the incredible dedication by a great number of people who foresaw the potential of Spike Island."

On its Facebook page, Fortress Spike Island wrote: "IT'S OFFICIAL! Spike Island Cork has WON at the WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS 2017, and been crowned EUROPE'S leading tourist attraction 2017!

"We beat off the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower and more to win the highest award a tourist site can win. We also became the first ever site outside of the capitals to win this award.

"We are very proud to make it an unprecedented THREE IN A ROW for Ireland, following in the footsteps of the excellent Titanic Belfast and Guinness Storehouse.

"An enormous thank you to Cork County Council, Fáilte Ireland, those in Cobh with the vision to fight for Spike, our visitors, and most importantly to our incredible staff and tour guides, whose passion and hard work have made this a deserved award. This is owned by each and every one of you.
Our eternal thanks, and onwards and up for Spike Island Cork!"