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The Rock of Cashel and a trip to Tipperary

You know what-ads are powerful things. Just barely after Queen Elizabeth had visited the National Stud Centre and the Rock of Cashel these places had a 50% increase in tourists.

We were also tempted to see these places, which we found out were more important than we thought. That is from the point of view of Irish history and culture. Plus the Rock of Cashel is located in Co. Tipperary, which lies almost in the centre of Ireland, around 200 Kilometres from Dublin.

The view of the Rock of Cashel

Now we’ll talk about our impressions about St. Patricks Rock, which is just another name for the Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel, if translated from Irish means the ‘stone fortress’. Its location is enough to make other castles jealous. Strong walls on a large limestone hill, is exactly what you need to protect yourself from trouble.

The Rock of Cashel was meant to be used as residence by the kings of Munster, long before the Norman invasion. We’ll remind you that Ireland has only four provinces. The province of Ulster belongs to Northern Ireland, but Munster, Leinster and Connact belong to the Republic of Ireland.

The Rock of Cashel

A turn in the life of the Rock of Cashel, and even, the entire history of Ireland happened around 450 A.D, when the missionary St. Patrick managed to convert the current king of Munster, Oengus, to Christianity. During the Baptismal Ceremony a comical event took place, which was written down by someone and passed on down generations.

The thing was, that during the Baptismal Ceremony Patrick stuck his staff into the king’s leg. Luckily Oengus didn’t think that this was an unceremonious act towards him, but that this was an essential part of the ceremony. Had this event gone the wrong way it could have changed the history of Ireland so much that we wouldn’t have a St. Patrick or the events connected to him, including the festival of St. Patricks Day.

The Rock of Cashel

The incident with St. Patrick caused such an impact that in 1101 the king of Cashel, Muircheartach Ua Brian gave the Rock of Cashel to the church and from that moment on this place became a religious centre of Ireland. In the XIII century a huge cathedral was built, which, despite being pillaged by the army of O. Cromwell in 1647, was still used by the church of Ireland until 1749.

Another interesting fact is that one of the last Archbishop of the Rock of Cashel was Arthur Price. He’s also famous for being Arthur Guinness’s godfather and also because in his will he gave Arthur Guinness 100 Pounds. With the help of this money Arthur Guinness started to bild his beer empire.

The view from the Rock of Cashel

Since the XIX century the Church of Ireland started doing restoration work on the Rock of Cashel, which hasn’t stopped until present day. But at the moment the only thing that’s fully restored is the Hall of Vicars Choral. On one of the walls in the hall hangs the picture of the stamp that could only be used by the eight Vicars. Our guide told us an interesting story about how these stamps were used in Rock of Cashel, which you’ll hear in part 2 of this post.

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