The Rock of Cashel

Castle on the Rock of Cashel

When I first read of its name, I thought, What am I supposed to see on a rock? Ireland's got castles, caves and mythical hills; so what's with a Rock? But as I looked it up and saw its pictures over the internet, only one word came out of my mouth - splendid.

The Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phadraig), also known as Cashel of the Kings, rises spectacularly in Ireland's County Tipperary. With a number of fortified structures all over it, this is surely one of the most magnificent attractions of Ireland, especially in the town of Cashel.

History tells that this is no ordinary Rock. It was called Cashel of the Kings because it was a royal center. Kings from all over would gather in this place for assemblies and other events. Later on, this rock was used by the church which explains the presence of a church and a chapel there.

The complex on top of the rock provides great examples of medieval architecture that rivals even the best castles in Europe. It also contains a large collection of remarkable Celtic art.

There are basically four attractions on this rock. The first is the well preserved round tower which rises 90 feet from the ground. This is the tallest of the Cashel edifices which is actually part of the second attraction on the Rock, the Chapel of King Cormac.

This majestic chapel was built in 1127 and consecrated in 1134. If you've been touring all throughout Ireland, you would clearly see the difference between this chapel and all the other chapels. Its sophisticated design displays the best of the medieval Romanesque style. With its magnificent North Doorway and Chancel Arch, this chapel is a surely sight to behold.

The third attraction is the cathedral, which was built between 1235 and 1270. Like any other church layout, it lies in the shape of a cruciform with a central tower.

Finally, there is the Hall of the Vicars Choral, created in the 1400s. Walking around the rock would lead you to an extensive graveyard filled with high crosses.

This is place is great for those who have a flair for the arts. Not only does it have good-looking architecture, it also is home to different carvings and Romanesque murals dating as far as the Middle Ages.

The Rock of Cashel is really a wonderful sight to behold. So don't dare miss it if you're going to Ireland!

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