Rock of Cashel & Kilkenny

24.08. Rock of Cashel – Kilkenny
Well today we leave Dublin to give the infamous Irish roads a look. Left left left do I say even at breakfast Traffic is moderate  (everybody is directed to the city) and the roads unexpectedly good. This remains unchanged as long as the motor way leads. After that a country road follows. One has to know that the proper direction is Clonmel, the Rock of Cashel itself it not yet mentioned on the road signs. But soon after only a few km the Rock appears. Visible even from a long distance the former castle is enthroned on the hill. Beneath lies Chapel a small village with little parking place. After a short turn we find the parking lot below the rock. The way up is only possible by foot. Entrance is with 6.50 EUR moderate and includes a tour in English language.

Rock of Cashel Der Fels von Cashel

The Rock of Cashel is one of the most intriguing sightseeing places in Ireland. The rock 60 m high dominates with its medieval castle church and monastery on top a huge plain. Cashel was from the 4th century on seat of the Kings of Munster and was transferred to the Church in 1101 AD. Already in the 5th century Saint Patrick elevated the rock to a bishops see. The famous king Brian Boru was crowned here and named Cashel 977 AD as his residence. In the 12th century Cormac's Chapel was erected one of the most beautiful Churches on the Isle in roman stile. Further there is a large gothic cathedral of the 13th century located in the ruins as well as a St. Patrick's Cross (11. century), whose original is on display in the museum and a 30m high round tower. The view in the valley shows the ruins of Hore Abbey.

Nicole vor den Ruinen von Cashel
Der Rundturm
St Patricks Cross
Cormacs Chapel mit Turm
Peter vor der Festungsmauer

Our tour is lead by an anorexic and edgy Irish girl which we quickly name Mrs. Allright. Why? Lets listen:
Ladies and Gentlemen, Cashel used to be the seat of the High Kings of Ireland until the late 11th century, all right. Also the famous Brian Boru, High king of Ireland was crowned and held court here from 1005 on, all right. All descendants of him and his family are named O Brian, all right. He is always brought in connection with the Harp, a special Harp is even named after him and has become a national symbol of Ireland, all right!

Mrs Allright zeigt uns die Anlage
Cormacs Chapel

This is continuously going on and in a speed that the ears ring. Anyway, the program is interesting because the grounds and buildings are full of history. Not for nothing is this the rock of the rocks. Alone the location has its advantage. We visit the Chapel, the cathedral and the round tower (from the exterior only) and after some 100 pictures (e.g. of the valley and some certain tourists) we descend the holy rock which shall have been visited by St. Patrick himself.

Ire und moderne Kunst
Spange aus dem 15.Jh
Grandma´s Coffeshop Blumen

After some pictures at the parking lot of an Irish boy and a little cafe, we drive off and begin our search for Kilkenny,

Search? Yes, because roads and ways in Ireland are somehow difficult. And so are the road signs. Usually there is supposed to be a left turn in Clonmel, indeed there is, but the road is going on and winding and it takes already too much time. But where to go if there are no alternatives? So we drive on and on the road along and Tata! Suddenly we are in Waterford. Well here it shall give nice crystal, but actually we didn´t want to come here. Luckily from here there is a foolproof road to Kilkenny so the we finally find the village.

Kilkenny Downtown

But the problems continue. Our hotel is somewhere at the outer rims, but where? The description is unusable because there are more than one roads out of town. Finally at a gas station does somebody think to know where the hotel is. Correct. At the described road lies the Hotel. New. SO new that there currently runs a emergency training. But this is only a short delay and we get a very new and clean room.

Der Fluss in Kilkenny

The city of Kilkenny (Irish Cill Chainnigh, meaning: church of Canisius)  is located in the southeast of the R. of Ireland at s´the shores of the River Nore. It is the county seat of the identically named county. With her 8.625 inhabitants (as of 2006) respectively with surroundings about 22.000 people, Kilkenny is Irelands smallest city.

By the way, two Irish are committing, no not suicide, but marriage. I wonder if the photos turn out well, I for myself would not have made them against the sun, the hired photographer does?

Kilkenny Cathedral
Kilkenny Castke

Ok, later more details regarding the room, we still want to sightsee something. We go to the city by foot which is life threatening at the beginning, because there are no walkways at the roadside. But the situation improves soon and we get to the town center of the village (13.000 inhabitants). First visual highlight is the castle. Former seat of the Lords of Butler its a well maintained country castle (and also in the inside there shall be nice furniture) with a fantastic park on the grounds. Further you get a view on the riverside In the background is the shilouette of a brewery. Self declaring in city with this name, isn´t it?

Ein Brautpaar im Schlosshof

We go downhill to the river, which runs pictorially through the town. At the main road there are many pubs but before we take a closer look, wed first like to visit the cathedral. Just in Time, because at 5 they close and now its a quarter to 5. More interesting in our opinion is the round tower. A church’s interior, if you know one you know (almost) all. Ok the tower entree is charged with 2 EUR. And for this you have to climb. Steepest steps up. Its a torture for the need and at the tops the way gets further really tight.

At the top there is a slight breeze and we get an awesome view across the city. But the tower seems to be shaky and rickety. But so be it, he will endure us and after us they close, but only for today.......

The most impressive church however is St. Canice's Cathedral. It is the second largest cathedral of Irelands. The early Gothic cathedral was erected between 1202 and 1285 and adepted under bishop Geoffrey St. Ledger . In the year 1332 the bell tower collapsed and had to be reerected. The plans to increase the size of the crossing tower were canceled however. The round tower beside the cathedral originates in the year 849. The choir dates to the year 1901 and is a copy of the choir in the cathedral of Brugge. Whilst the reformation the cathedral was raided a couple of times. Around 1650 the troops of Cromwell sacked the cathedral and used it as a stable.

Nicole im engen Rundturm
Peter über den Dächern von Kilkenny
victorianische Türen

After so much art and culture we have to care for our bodily welfare. Therefore we go into a real pub for refreshments. This is best done with a Guinness (in Kilkenny!) and a tasty burger. The first Guinness follows a second whereas Nicole gulps two Bulmers. Our way back is therefore lively, but also because we use a Taxi. In the hotel we grant ourselves a last beer and then Good Nite.
Km 215
Hotel Days Inn, Kilkenny ***

im Pub in Kilkenny
Prost mit Guinness
Kneipen in Kilkenny

on to the sea...

Garinish Island