Ireland: The Rock of Cashel (Castle of the Kings)
The story of the Rock of Cashel:
Prominently sticking up out of the landscape, the Rock of Cashel has a history as old as Ireland, dating from roughly 300 B.C. It was the traditional seat of the Irish Kings. A cashel–or castle as we would call it nowadays–was built here in the 5th Century.
It was here, according to tradition, that Saint Patrick first used a shamrock to describe the concept of the Holy Trinity. The king at this time, Aengus, decided to become baptised after seeing this demonstration.
About the Rock of Cashel:
It is a actually a series of buildings: Cormac’s Chapel; Hore Abbey; Cashel Cathedral; the Cashel Castle; all built in the 12th through the 15th Centuries.
Perhaps the most notable of these is Cormac’s Chapel, which dates from 1127. Inside the Chapel is what is reputed to be the tomb of King Cormac, although there is some dispute about that.
It is well preserved……and a great opportunity to glimpse the life of the early Kings of Ireland.
Unfortunately, the Chapel is undergoing some re-construction which does spoil the view a bit, but still worthwhile. And during this period it is only open from May through September. The hours are posted on their website.
The Rock of Cashel is located about half way between Limerick and Waterford…a distance of about 30 miles from each. There is no rail service, but there is some bus service from Dublin to Cork that makes a stop at the Rock of Cashel.
GPS coordinates: 52° 31′ 12.2736” N, 7° 53′ 25.6272” W
Tel: +353 62 61437
Click here for the Heritage Ireland website that describes the Rock of Cashel
Images courtesy of the Photographic Unit, Department of Arts Heritage & the Gaeltacht