6 Irish landmarks made famous by Ireland’s Patron Saint.
Hello to all fans of everything Irish. Greetings from Dublin. Lulu here. It’s hard to believe that St Patrick’s day is only 5 weeks away –it seems like Christmas was only yesterday!
The countdown to St Patrick’s Day has well and truly begun here at the Irish Store and we’ll be showcasing our specially selected collection in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to take a little tour of our beloved Ireland and visit some of the places associated with Ireland’s patron saint.
1. Slemish Mountain
First, we’ll head up north to Slemish Mountain in county Antrim. It is said that St Patrick’s first home was here, although to call it home is somewhat of a stretch-he spent his first six years in Ireland here as a slave after being captured in Roman Britain! It is believed it is here that he found his faith working under harsh conditions as a shepherd. Check out the lone sheep in the picture-his coat looks like perfect material for an Irish Store Aran Sweater!
2. Croagh Patrick
Time to head to the mystical west of the country to the majestic Croagh Patrick overlooking Clew Bay in county Mayo. Legend has it that it was from here that St Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland and fasted for 40 days as penance. To this day, flocks of pilgrims from all over the world gather at the mountain on the last Sunday in July. Some even climb the mountain barefoot to atone for their sins. I’ve climbed this mountain myself, (keeping my shoes firmly on I hasten to add!). It’s about a 2 hour climb and worth every step. The views from the top are breathtaking.
3. Armagh Cathedrals
It’s back up north again-St Patrick spent a lot of time in this neck of the woods! It was here that he founded his first stone church in 445 AD and this site has been a constant place of worship ever since. The current Church of Ireland cathedral dates back to 1268 and the Catholic cathedral (the one with the twin spires), was completed in 1873. They look particularly impressive when they are illuminated in green for the big day!
4. Down Cathedral
Before we head down south we must stop off at St. Patrick’s final resting place. It is believed he died on 17 March 461 AD which we still celebrate to this day, and his remains were brought to the Hill of Down, the site of this beautiful cathedral in county Down.
5. Hill of Slane
We’re heading down the road to Ireland’s ancient east and to the Hill of Slane, county Meath. Legend has it that St Patrick taught the Holy Trinity on this hill using the shamrock. I just love this image of the silhouetted ancient Celtic crosses at sunset. Little wonder that these ancient monuments still inspire Irish jewelry design to this day.
6. St Patrick’s Cathedral
Last but certainly not least, we’re heading back to Dublin, home of The Irish Store and St.Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s national cathedral and the tallest in the country, the spire measuring 43 meters high. Once more, according to legend, St Patrick stopped at this site in Dublin to baptize Christian converts. Like Trinity College at the top of the blog, we like to dress it in green for St. Patrick’s Day.
Well I hope you enjoyed our little jaunt around the country as much as I did. I’ll be back next week to continue our countdown to the big day. In the meantime, check our great selection of St. Patrick’s day gifts below.
Slán go fóill!
Founder of the Irish Store and lover of all things Irish.