Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone! So I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. Dublin is looking mighty festive at the moment! So on this day of all days I thought it would fun to revisit some of the places associated with Ireland’s patron saint.
1. Slemish Mountain
Firstly we’ll head up to county Antrim to Slemish Mountain. The story goes that St. Patrick’s first home in Ireland was right 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.
2. Croagh Patrick
So the next stop on our journey is Croagh Patrick in county Mayo.
According to the myth, this is the place where St. Patrick fasted for 40 days. It is also the place as legend has it that he banished the snakes from Ireland! Each year on the last Sunday of July, pilgrims from all over the world gather at this majestic mountain to follow in his footsteps. Some even climb the mountain barefoot as penance. 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 simply stunning.
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. Here they are all dressed in green for St Patrick’s 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 giving birth to St. Patrick’s Day! His remains were brought to the Hill of Down, the site of this beautiful cathedral in county Down.
5. Hill of Slane
So now we’ll head back down south to Ireland’s ancient east and the Hill of Slane, County Meath. Legend has it (yet again!) 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
Finally, we’ll head back to Dublin, home of The Irish Store and St.Patrick’s Cathedral. This is Ireland’s national cathedral and the tallest in the country. It stands at 43 meters. According to legend (for the last time!), St Patrick stopped at this site in Dublin to baptize Christian converts.
So I hope you enjoyed our trip around Ireland in honor of St. Patrick! If you’re in the mood for some festive retail therapy, our St. Patrick’s Day gifts Sale is now on! Enjoy the rest of your day. Happy St Patrick’s Day to one and all!
Slán go fóill!
Founder of the Irish Store and lover of all things Irish.