If you are a history buff, you are undoubtedly interested in ancient ruins, and all kinds of other pieces left to explore by the olden times. Luckily for you, Ireland is filled with them! There are numerous remnants of important historical objects, especially castles! So that you are not overwhelmed while planning your tours to Ireland, we have prepared you a list of the 5 most beautiful palaces that have unfortunately been ruined over time but are still as significant and exciting.
Castle ruins in Ireland: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2017/08/28/16/30/castle-2690323_1280.jpg
1. Tintern Abbey
Located in New Ross, County Wexford, Tintern Abbey, while fallen from grace, is still an iconic site that every Irishman knows the tale of. According to legends, the Earl of Pembroke once faced a life-or-death situation due to a crazy storm and vowed to build an abbey if he reached the shore safely. Apparently, he did, since the sanctuary was constructed in the 12th century.
However, the intriguing tale ended with the Dissolution of Monasteries in the 16th century, when Henry VII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents, and friaries in England, Wales, and Ireland. Due to tragic events, Tintern Abbey was left roofless and destroyed. Nowadays, people flood the site to see what was once a great fortress, learn about the history, and admire the architecture touched by time.
2. Castle Roche
While many travelers find this castle intimidating, if not a bit creepy, this is an excellent site for you to visit if you like legends, maybe a little horror, and intense fairytales. It was built in the 13th century by the powerful De Verdun family, who lived there afterward. The story regarding the horror factor here is about the daughter, Roesia De Verdun. According to folk tales, she killed her husband by pushing him out of the window to his death. Now it is still visible and called the Murder Window.
Aside from the haunting tale, Castle Roche was once a beautiful piece of architecture, so your visit here will be the most fulfilling! Do not miss the chance to visit this enigmatic site of Ireland!
3. Blarney Castle
In County Cork, Blarney, stands the iconic remnants of Blarney Castle – an epic establishment of the 15th century, still attracting tourists even when driven to ruin over the years.
It was built by the MacCarthy of the Muskery dynasty, and while technically ruined, the castle looks a lot better than most other ruined ones in Ireland. Knowing how many times it was sold and changed, it is a miracle to find it in such a good state!
It is surrounded by extensive gardens and greenery, and they are filled with magical-sounding and poisonous plants, including wolfsbane, mandrake, cannabis, ricin, and opium. However, the most attractive thing here is the eloquence stone or the Blarney Stone. Driven by local legends, tourists flood the site and kiss the Blarney Stone while hanging upside down – it is said to grant them eloquence and persuasiveness!
4. Jerpoint Abbey
Located in Count Kilkenny, Jerpoint Abbey is one of the best examples of the Medieval Cistercian Abbeys in Ireland. Its spectacular architecture includes complicated stone carvings and cloister arcades. You will also see many quirky sculptures here, most of which are still intact!
Due to the intricate design and stunning surroundings, Jerpoint Abbey has been declared a national monument and has been in the care of the Office of Public Works since 1880. Unfortunately, the abbey, just like many others, was tragically ruined in the 16th century during the Dissolution of Monasteries. However, it is still very worth a visit, as it is truly a hidden gem of Ireland.
5. Muckross Abbey
Muckross Abbey is one of those sites that feels magical and mysterious for some reason. It was established in the 6th century by Saint Fionan, and its grounds and walls are soaked in the history of the old monks and saints.
In the 17th century, Muckross became a burial ground for some of the most prominent poets of County Kerry, where the abbey is located. Whether it is the fact that the place feels sacred or the fact that you will see a Yew tree of the age of almost three centuries, something about the monastery will keep you in and curious for a long time.
Muckross Abbey is also a part of the Killarney National Park, so make sure to see the surroundings as well!
Go through our list again and mark these spectacular castles on the map! Getting close to history and getting to know the country you are visiting is essential for a fulfilling holiday. The best of luck, and we hope you have great adventures!
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