The Rock of Cashel: Exploring Medieval & Celtic History
As the bus weaved around a few crooked corners the Rock of Cashel manifested before us behind a veil of mist. Perched on top of a lush green hill overlooking what’s known as the Golden Vale of Tipperary County. This Golden Vale refers to the view. As a fortress it is at an advantage point as you can see for miles into Tipperary county and would be able to properly prepare for an invasion if anyone should chose to attack the stronghold. Two of the most notable historic Irish characters associated with the Rock of Cashel are St Patrick and Brian Boru. St. Patrick has a peaceful association with the grounds having converted pagan King of Munster Aengus MacMutfraich here around 450 A.D. After this time the Rock of Cashel was mainly a fortress where the Irish kings of Munster would preside. Brian Boru is the most legendary of them all as he united the quarrelsome Irish kings to take a stand against the violent Vikings and in doing so Boru unified Ireland under one ruler, himself.
Much of what we see today is from the 12th Century when it was turned over to the church in 1101 and was added on to/altered during the 13th C and is considered the most impressive collection of medieval and celtic ruins in Europe.
During moments of standing within and upon history it is always important to take a deep breath, put down the camera and soak it all in. The history, the figures, the view that remains relatively unchanged since the battles won and lost. These are the moments I travel for.