The Rock of Cashel is one of the most striking monuments in Ireland and has some of the finest collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture in Europe. The site includes St Cormac’s beautiful Romanesque chapel (1134), The Roundtower (1100), St Patrick’s 12th century High Cross, St Dominick’s Abbey (1270), a Cathedral (13th century) and a 12th century tomb. The ‘Rock’ was a royal center and was formally known as ‘St Patrick’s Rock’ (Carraig Phádraig) after St Patrick reputedly converted the King of Munster to Christianity in the 5th century. In the 12th century, King Muircheartach O’Brien gave The Rock to the church in a move to prevent The Eoghanachta Clan retaking it. Tradition says that the Kings of Cashel and Munster, including Brian Boru, were inaugurated at the base of the High Cross here. In 1647, the Rock fell to a Cromwellian army under Lord Inchiquin which sacked and burned its way to the top. Early in the 18th century the Protestant church took it for 20 years, and this was the last time the Rock was officially used as a place of worship. Even the Queen popped in to have a look during her visit to Ireland in 2011.

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