The Hill of Slane

26 Mar

Throughout Ireland, the landscape is littered with historical sites on top of beautiful landmarks. The rolling hills of the countryside are one of these geographical features that are known worldwide. On top of one of these hills, North of Dublin in the town of Slane, sits an attraction that is full of mythology and beauty. Taking a tour of the Hill of Slane was wonderful insight into the history, religion, and antiquity of Irish culture.


The story of the significance of the Hill of Slane involves a figure synonymous with Irish Catholicism: Saint Patrick. It was said that in his attempt to convert the Celtic Pagans of Ireland to Catholicism, he lit a fire on top of the hill during the time of Easter. When the “high king” of Slane warned Patrick not to start the fire or he would be killed, Patrick did not obey. Instead, when he lit the fire and the Druids came rushing to put it out, Patrick converted them to Christianity, too.


The ruins of the old abbey and monastery were unique in themselves. Just by walking through the broken walls and missing ceilings, I developed a great respect for the architecture and design of 15th century construction. First, the location of the monastery was very strategic in that you can see for miles around from the very top – something very important during the Viking raids. Secondly, during a time when things were built small, this monument must have triumphed over the surrounding area. Moreover, although it is not nearly in the same condition or stature today as it was centuries ago, the foundation still exists, which is remarkable. It is monuments like the Hill of Slane that make Ireland special and convey the stories of the past. I am glad the monastery on the Hill of Slane still stands and that I got to see it.


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