Iconic St Patrick arrived in Ireland in the 5th century to spread Catholicism, and he found a fertile land for his faith. With in a few decades, a series of grand monasteries was built across the island and Irish monks were spreading their beliefs across Europe. Pillaging by Vikings in the 9th century ended this golden age but you can find its legacies in the iconic and ancient Celtic crosses found in churchyards big and small. Vast, moody sites like Clonmacnoise, Jerpoint and Glendalough attest to the riches of the early church and the power of faith that saw such huge structures carved out of tough granite by hand. Wander amidst the lichen-covered artifacts and imagine their stories.
This elegant abbey was very important in medieval times, and is home to many stone carvings- be sure to look carefully around or you may miss several of them. It is 3€ to enter, but well worth it. Usually quiet, you may be the only person around. A beautiful place