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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trim Castle and the Hill of Tara

We have been having a really gorgeous spring here in Ireland. I mean, ridiculously gorgeous. I'm really going to miss the weather when we leave. My husband has no idea what he's in for when it comes to heat and humidity. My in laws were in town for the Easter weekend, so we did a bus tour to Trim Castle and the Hill of Tara, both in Co. Meath. Fortunately, the weather was stellar because I imagine these places would be the pits on a cold, rainy day.

Trim Castle was the first stop. The OPW does a great 45 minute tour of the Keep and I would highly recommend it.You go all the way to the top and the views are really amazing.

These dry moat-like structures, surrounding the Keep (shown below), were actually a defense against attackers. They would have been wearing helmets, obstructing their vision, so they'd come running in and fall into these ditches because they couldn't see them. I'm fairly certain these would have caught me up, helmet or no helmet!



The next two pictures are from inside the Keep (shown above). The stones are green because they're mossy (there isn't a permanent roof on the structure), not because it's some special Irish stone. The building is made of limestone.




After Trim Castle we had time to get a coffee before heading off to the Hill of Tara. The Hill of Tara is most impressive viewed from above, so click on the link I provided at the top of the post to see aerial pictures. The Hill of Tara is known as the ancient seat of the kings of Ireland. It's older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge. It is believed that Saint Patrick came to Tara to talk to the Pagan kings about Christianity. They believe the reason the Hill of Tara was chosen to be the home of the kings was because on a clear day you can see 29 of the 32 counties in Ireland. We could see the mountains in Donegal, Wicklow, Galway, and Armagh. Pretty amazing!


 There was a prayer tree near the top, so I offered up a tissue for my prayer. Wes left a LUAS ticket!

It's believed the outer circle was constructed to keep the evil spirits out and the inner circle made to keep the good spirits in.
 My FIL hugged the Lia Fail (the ancient coronation stone) to see if he is the next king of Ireland. The ground would have rumbled and we would have heard roaring. All we heard was traffic from the M3.


These graves are from a churchyard next to the site. They're not ancient!

2 comments:

  1. Gorgeous. Great pictures! I hope this good weather holds out and there are many more beautiful days!

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