Rock of Cashel (June 12)

Bob decided that it had been long enough since Dun Anegus (June 2) that Marilyn needed another “death march”. As usual, she has been a trooper for this whole trip and almost didn’t complain. Not sure she thinks it was worth the climb. Note from Marilyn: this was not anything like the climb at Dun Anegus!

This site was ruled by the ancient kings of Munster from about 300-1100 CE. Local clans fought to achieve the benefits of the high ground until Murtagh O’Brien wisely gave it to the church to prevent his rivals from regaining possession. The oldest building is the round tower (its pyramid-shaped top is peeking far right above the wall in the middle picture below) which dates from about 1100 CE. The graveyard (now full) was used at least until the 1860s. More detail here.

It is a long way up. As Marilyn says, invaders would have been exhausted even before reaching the walls.

The cathedral from the front. There is lots of living/working space behind.

Lots of different crosses everywhere. Just when we feel like we’re beginning to recognize the differences in architecture, we’re thrown for a loop by transition periods. The main door combines Gothic (pointed arch) and Romanesque (rounder arch). Most of the remaining buildings are from the 12th and 13th centuries.

It is almost impossible to capture the majesty and grandure of this place, but Bob tried.

The monks chose to live down the hill to not be corrupted by the excesses of the Archbishop.

Coats of arms and other symbols show usage as other than a church.

The builders always find something interesting to put in the niches.

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