Friday, August 22, 2008

The Rock of Cashel

We left Dublin early the next morning for (another) long day on the bus. Our first stop was the fortified cathedral called the Rock of Cashel. I missed seeing Cashel on my first trip through Ireland, so I was very excited to get another chance.

As we drove along the low rolling hills in County Tipperary, we came around a corner and saw The Rock perched high above the surrounding plains on a limestone outcropping. Cashel is an interesting site, as the Cathedral has a fortified castle keep attached to one side, and the whole area is walled.

Cashel used to be the seat of the Kings of Munster, and is said to be the site where St. Patrick converted the Kings to Catholicism. In later years the site was given over to the church, and became the ecclisiastical center of Ireland.

The site was sacked by Parlimentarian troops in 1647, and fell into disuse. In modern times some restoration work has been undertaken, but the stark outline of the roofless cathedral is quite the contrast to the other cathedrals I saw on the trip.

No comments: