Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Rock of Cashel

Our visit to the Rock of Cashel was one of our best ideas on our Ireland trip. It is located in Tipperary, which is the county above Cork. It was about an hours drive up there so it  made for a perfect day trip. Plus, if you are going to visit Ireland it is one of the top things to see while there. St. Patrick made the shamrock the famous here by using it to explain the trinity and the views of the Irish country side are spectacular. Looking up to the ruins reminded us of our trip to Lake Taal in the Philippines.
The Irish country side. 
Goofing around and getting my highland dancing on. I wore my green pants because we were in Ireland. 
The traditional Lyndon picture, standing a top a stone wall. I love the view. It was so beautiful. I love how green Ireland is. I guess it does pay off to rain so much to have it looking green year round. 

The Rock is famous for a lot of things. One is that it is the largest set of ecclesiastical ruins in Ireland. It is not a castle but a medieval abbey. 


We made it!

Cashel was the seat of the King's of Munster (must be where we get the name for Munster cheese) in the 5th century. Before that it was center of tribal and religious power for a thousand years. Then in 450 St. Patrick supposedly came here and baptized King Aengus making him Ireland's first Christian ruler. It is also said to be a site of druidic worship so has both royal and religious history. It is pretty cool to drive up to it. The Rock of Cashel is on a mountain above the town so you can see it off the distance driving up to it. It was an  awesome site to behold!

The picture to the right is a picture of the crossing. It is significant because it where the four sections of the rock come together. Also the detail on it is quite lovely. 
Tomb in the north transept. The tombs in that part of the Rock are especially detailed. This one is ornately decorated with images of the apostles. There were others with images of beasts and the apocalypse.

Inside the north transept. 

Cosette at the Rock of Cashel!

I had to include this picture because she is actually simling for the camera!!! It is a miracle! She does not look at the camera anymore. She will say cheese and look anyway but at the person with the camera. 

Me and my favorite little girl in the world! Cosette enjoyed the Rock of Cashel. 


There was some construction going on while we were there so we did not get to see Cormac's Chapel, which is sad because it is the best example of Hiberno-Romanesque architecture. Next time, I guess. 

View of the Cashel village. 

At the northern part of the Rock. The north transept is behind us. 

We explored some of the Vicar's Choral where the cathedral choristers lived. Cosette found a little window just her size. She ask me to take a picture of her with it.

Vicar's Choral, built in the 15th century. 

Selfie with St. Patrick's cross. It was put up in honor of St. Patrick's visit to Cashel in 450.

We had a blast exploring the Rock. Hopefully the constructions will be done by the spring so we can go back and see the Hiberno-Romanesque architecture we missed out on. 

Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral

Christmas Day we went to St. Fin Barre's Cathedral in Cork City Centre for Christmas Day mass. We attended Christmas Day mass at King's College while we were living in Cambridge and thought we would continue that tradition since we were in Ireland. I guess we could continue that tradition in the United States, but there is something about attending a service in these beautiful cathedrals. We like going because it helps focus the day on Christ and his birth. The service was beautiful. We sang O Little Town of Bethlehem to the tune a different hymn that for the life of me I cannot remember now. If I remember I will post it later. It was amazing! Lyndon and I have been humming it since. 

St. Fin Barre's Cathedral is an Anglican Cathedral which we kind of surprise since we were in Ireland which is mostly Catholic. It is built on the site that was the entrance to medieval Cork. It is St. Fin Barre's Cathedral because he established a monastery here and is said to be the founder of Cork. 

Once the service was over Cosette was running up and down the rows of benches. 


It is amazing how ornate cathedrals can be. We kind of has lost that in our buildings today. I am grateful we still have some architectural beauties like this.

The light coming through the windows was beautiful. The way it comes through looks symbolic if that makes sense. I think it might just be the rays of light coming into this magnificent place of worship like Christ coming into our lives or dark world. Maybe stretching that a metaphor a bit, but it is lovely.


I love the windows, especially the rose window above the organ. The organ is a 3,000-pipe organ. Let me tell you, the music it produce is amazing!



We feel really blessed to have been able to visit this Cathedral and enjoy all it has to offer. We highly recommend going there for evensong if you are ever in Cork. The music and atmosphere will take you away to a peaceful place. Going there was the icing on the cake to a perfect Christmas.
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