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Meet the legendary Rock Cashel in Ireland

Cashel Rock perfectly symbolizes many of the elements of Irish culture and history. It is a place with a brilliant past where saints and kings appear, as well as politics, war and religion. And, at the same time, it is a place devastated by its own history, but which has the charm that surrounds the most beautiful Irish corners.

To begin with, we need to locate Cashel Rock. It is a monument integrated in the county of Tipperary, towards the south of the island and in its interior part. It is less than two hours away from Dublin. Therefore, it can be a great excursion from the Irish capital to get to know the most rural Ireland.

Cashel Rock and its legendary origin

As we have said, Cashel Rock is a piece of Irish history. And as we will see below, a momentous event for the Emerald Isle occurred here. Nevertheless, as in everything that surrounds these Celtic lands, there is always a touch of legend and epic tone. Starting with the very legendary origin of the fortress.

When you visit Cashel Rock, you immediately appreciate the privileged point of view it has over the surrounding landscape. And it is that the castle is elevated on the highest ground of the Tipperary Plainknown for its fertility as Golden Vale.

 

That high point is a mountain called Devil’s Bit, the Devil’s Bite, as it is supposed that Satan himself took a bite out of this land and spat it out, creating the place where Cashel Rock stands today.

On horseback of legend and reality

However, even what is considered true and historical, also reaches in the territory of the Celts an aura of legend. And it is that Rock Cashel is home to a key event in Irish history: the moment in the 5th century when the island’s monarchy converted to Christianity.

At that time the Kings of Munster, as they were known, lived here. Y St. Patrick would come to Cashel Rock itselfthe patron saint so revered in all the temples and cities of Ireland, to convert the monarchs to that religion that was to gain so much prominence throughout the history of the island.

Yes ok, all that is not fully confirmed by history. And neither for the remains of the fortress, since hardly anything remains from that time today.

History of the Rock Cashel

The truth is the monumental remains preserved today in Rock Cashel date back to the Middle Ages. Throughout the Middle Ages, from the 11th to the 15th century, since the different spaces of the monument were created at different times.

All this took on the romantic aspect of ruin in the 17th century, when the English invasion destroyed practically everything. A dilapidated aspect that today is part of its charm, as is the case with many monuments in the British Isles. For example, Melrose Abbey in Scotland.

In fact, although the buildings of Cashel Rock remain almost miraculously standing, the set is of enormous beauty and is among the most interesting castles in Ireland. So let’s see one by one the parts of the monument.

the tower of homage

The great circular tower is the tallest building, with 28 meters, and also the oldest of the Rock Cashel. It is a construction that dates back to the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the 12th.

Cormac’s Chapel

The appearance of this 12th century Romanesque chapel is truly splendid and tells us about an important temple, and not only architecturally. It is one of the few places in the country where frescoes from that time are preserved.

The Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace

The religious importance of Rock Cashel is attested by the presence of its cathedral, built as early as the 13th century. Today it is partially preserved and one of the most interesting areas is the choir. But that does not prevent us from appreciating that it was a great temple that, in addition, was linked by passageways to the archbishop’s palace, which reached up to four floors.

The Rock Cashel Cemetery

The attraction of a visit to Cashel Rock is simply walking among this set full of legends and history. And, without a doubt, the most inspiring site in this regard may be its old cemeterywhere it is impossible not to capture the photogenicity of the Celtic crosses.

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