Eight Historical Places to Visit in Ireland
Once you have witnessed the breathtaking beauty of Irish landscapes and seafronts, you will believe that the country is indeed a wonder of nature. Ireland has experienced a series of dark and catastrophic historical events during its antiquated period. The ancient buildings and the cobblestoned pathways are still intact in their actual state, as a testament to Ireland’s bygone days.
Throughout the region, countless prehistoric monuments and ancient structures distributed at every nooks and corner of the country. For an outlander who is visiting Ireland for the first time, it would be strange not to notice an 18th century-old castle, monastery or a town that is inhabited by the locals. Where other countries have failed in preserving their historical edifices, Ireland has successfully managed to protect its physical heritage.
Following are eight historical places to visit in Ireland that enables you to experience the enthralling and intriguing Ireland’s olden times.
The historic monastery of Clonmacnoise dates back to around 545 AD. This ancient abbey is situated in the County Offaly, precisely near the banks of River Shannon. Although there are other archaeological sites located in the vicinity, Clonmacnoise is adored highly by the locals as well as the tourists. It is mainly due to the tranquillizing aura that is created by the spiritual buildings settled in the extensive lush green riverside landscape.
St. Ciaran, during the 6th centurial era, set the foundations of this monastery. Centuries have passed, battles won and lost but, the stonewalled churches and carved roods of Clonmacnoise are still existing in their original state today. Even though the religious rituals are observed in a newly built chapel, the vintage Clonmacnoise monastery is open to the public for sightseeing.
It is also known as Rock of Cashel and is located in the County Tipperary. Cashel was the ancient seat of the kings of Munster. According to the Irish historians, when St. Patrick’s evicted a cave in Devil’s Bit from Satan, the famous rock landed in the royal territory due to the eruption. For centuries the rock of Cashel was used to govern major parts of southern Ireland before the Norman Invasion. Later on, it was handed over to the Irish Christian Fathers and was transformed into a ceremonial centre.
Even though it still stands tall relishing on its scintillating history, only a few of its remnants exist today permitting us to witness the spectacular architecture of 12th and 13th century. What seems fascinating about this place is that it consists of Cormac’s chapel, a cathedral that constructed somewhere around the 1200s and ancient burial place.
The Ceide Fields, located on the North of County Mayos’ coast are one of the most ancient field systems of the world. This Neolithic landscape is about 5000 years old and remained eclipsed for a prolonged time until they were rediscovered in the 1930s. Primitive houses, tombs and churches can also be found on these hilly wetlands, as they were once inhabited by the locals. The fields’ also consist of pink flowering heathers and other plants which makes this place a lovely sight to watch.
A glass-topped pyramid-shaped building located on a 43,000 years old Scots pine tree is the main attraction of the Ceide Fields.
The monument of Newgrange, also known as Bru na Boinne is one of the most renowned historical places in Ireland. It is a megalithic cemetery which is older than the ancient pyramids of Giza as well as the famous Stonehenge. It is a gargantuan mountain-like structure that is made up entirely of stones and earth. The entrance of the site is adorned by unique geometrical patterns and symbols that reflect megalithic art and architecture. This 5000 years old site has marked its place in UNESCO’s World Heritage list and has become a tourist point of interest.
The hill of Tara is located in the County Meath of Ireland, closer to the River Boyne. Even though it exists from the late Stone Age period but was brought into light from the Iron Age. It became an eminent site when it was converted as the ruling seat of Ireland’s high kings. The place was visited by St. Patrick’s himself during the 5th century during the peak of Christianity in Ireland and made Hill of Tara a notable spot.
While many ancient monuments and palaces of this place have crumbled down, some of the vestiges like the Mound of Hostages is still present, keeping the historical site alive.
This 800 years old, 54 feet tall tower is located in the city of Waterford, Munster Ireland. Firstly, it was owned and built by the Anglo-Normans during the 13th or 14th century. The tower was mainly used for military purposes which is evident by its strong, indestructible walls. During the English rule, the tower was converted into a mint by King John. Thus, in each era, the tower has been used to resolve confidential matters of the state. This is mainly due to its cramped architecture, for instance, Reginald’s tower was also converted into a prison cell during the 19th century.
Glendalough which means the “valley of two lakes” is located in the Wicklow County of Ireland. The place became known when a nobleman abandoned his aristocratic lifestyle and took shelter in one of the Glendaloughs cave to seek spirituality. Later on, the valley was converted into a monastery by St. Kevin for the similar-minded followers.
The monastery encountered numerous conflicts that managed to damage the building depending upon the intensity of the attacks. However, the remains of 900 years old monastery of Glendalough is still a sight to watch amid the rocky Wicklow Mountains.
Skellig Michael is also known as Great Skellig is a double-crested rocky mountain located in the County Kerry of Ireland. Skellig Michael is titled after the archangel Michael and depicts the extreme measures taken by the people of the prehistoric era to follow Christianity. It is believed that the island was occupied by the monks from 6th till 13th century, who used to rock climb to pay a visit to various praying camps.
Skellig Michael has been regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage site however this historical place in Ireland can only be visited in the peaceful sea.
There is no denying of the fact that every passageway of this country portrays annals of historical events but exploring these locations is worth it.