Walt's Look Around: Back to Ireland - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Back to Ireland

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The Rock of Cashel is the place where the Munster Kings were coroneted and lived from about the 300's AD until the Norman Invasion. After which, all of the buildings were turned over to the church. Now, in that one statement I just told you a LOT more than I know. I was not familiar with the Irish Munster Kings. And I sort of remember the Norman Invasion as one of the answers of a multiple choice question from Western Civilization my freshman year of college. But right here were our group of Mis'sippians was standing is where some of it, and apparently a very important part of it, took place. I am sure the Norman Invasion ranks right up there at Cashel with how important Grant's Siege is to Vicksburg, which in Cashel is probably no more than one of the choices in a multiple choice history test.

So I don't feel too bad about not knowing more about the place. You can't know everything. But I have made a vow to become a better informed traveler BEFORE the next trip. Because looking at what is here, or better put, what is LEFT of what is here, Cashel must have been a very significant place in Irish and even European history.

Not much of what is here now dates all the way back to the 300's. Most of this is from the 1100's. Cormac's Chapel was built by one of the Munster kings in 1127. It is under intense preservation now to try to reverse the effects of moisture over the centuries. Nothing in here is built perfect. All the construction is off a bit because it was understood that only God could make a thing to perfection. Anything man builds will inherently not achieve that standard. So they saw to it that their work wouldn't by purposefully mis-matching things. My construction projects easily live up to their sub-standard goal and I don't even have to try.

St. Patrick's Cathedral at Cashel is billed as the most remarkable Romanesque church in Ireland. It was built in the 1200's. And was used continuously until 1748. The roof is gone, but all the better to get a good look around inside. The round tower is the oldest building on top of the rock. It was built in about 1100.

So in typical tourists fashion I stood awe struck at the age and the magnificence of the structures at the Rock of Cashel and remarked to myself, "Wow. This is really something. I wonder what?" A question I hope to never ask myself again on any future outings.

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