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One of Ireland’s most iconic medieval ruins, this dramatically craggy abbey atop a hill in the center of Cashel dominates views for miles around. The so-called “Rock”—an outcrop of limestone reaching some 60m (197 ft.) into the sky—tells the tales of 16 centuries. It was the seat of the kings of Munster at least as far back as 360, and it remained a royal fortress until 1101, when King Murtagh O’Brien granted it to the church. Among Cashel’s many great moments was the legendary baptism of King Aengus by St. Patrick in 448. Remaining on the rock are the ruins of a two-towered chapel, a cruciform cathedral, a 28m (92-ft.) round tower, and a cluster of other medieval monuments. Inside the cathedral, extraordinary and detailed ancient carvings survive in excellent condition. The views of and from the Rock are spectacular. Guided tours are available most days; check with the visitor center for times. Cashel is just off the N8 motorway. Note: The buildings here were being renovated while this book was being written. There may be limited access to the structure throughout 2018, but it is expected to remain open.