South East Ireland Tourism
Travel guide to Ireland's south east
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Rock of Cashel, Tipperary

Beautiful Cashel, Co Tipperary, is home to the iconic Rock of Cashel, one of the most popular and spectacular tourist attractions in Ireland. Cashel’s rich colourful history is reflected in its buildings, which range from prehistoric raths forts, to mediaeval monasteries, fortified town houses, and, of course, its great Georgian Cathedral. Cashel’s charming Georgian quarter also boasts the Bolton Library in which the smallest book in Ireland can be found.

The great Rock of Cashel is traditionally referred to as “Cashel of the Kings”, and it was marked from very early times as the seat of the powerful Kings of Munster. And then in 1101 Muirchertach Ua Briain, then King of Munster handed his great fortress on the Rock to the Early Christian Church. And the church lost very little time in placing their mark on it, constructing much of what we see today. The extraordinary Rock of Cashel has a character all of its own, and it presents one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Few remnants of its pre-christian occupants remain today, the vast bulk of its buildings being built in Hiberno-Romanesque and Germanic styles in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The spectacular group of medieval buildings, set on a outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale includes a 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars.

There is an audio visual show entitled "Strongholds of Faith", which is available in English, French, Italian and German and various other exhibitions. Opening and closing times may vary, therefore it is advisable for visitors to check in advance to avoid disappointment.

How to get to Cashel

By bus, car, or even by bicycle. Cashel lies just off the main M8 motorway which runs from Dublin to Cork. Travel time from Dublin is approximately two hours.

Where to stay in Cashel

Rock of Cashel has many fine places to stay including hotels, self-catering holiday homes, guesthouses and B&B's.

Book Rock of Cashel Accommodation

Things to do in The Rock of Cashel

  1. Cashel is a charming market town and provincial centre, and it boasts some very picturesque attractions including the Cashel Palace Hotel and the Cashel Folk Village. While the Rock of Cashel is undoubtedly quite stunning, Cashel itself is well worth visiting.
  2. Hore Abbey, often referred to as St Marys, is a ruined Cistercian monastery of substantial size and finery. Dating from the 12th century, it lies to the north of the great Rock.
  3. Cormac’s Chapel, which is located within the Rock compound, is one of the most fascinating Hiberno-Romanesque Churches in Ireland. It was built during the 12th century by Cormac MacCarthy, then High King of Munster. It is perhaps most famous for its beautifully carved sarcophagus (stone tomb) with Hiberno-Scandinavian art featuring interlaced beasts and serpents. Indeed this extraordinary sarcophagus may actually be the tomb of King Cormac himself.

Rock of Cashel Map

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