Discover the Fascinating Monasterboice High Cross and Round Tower in County Louth
Monasterboice High Cross and Round Tower is a must-visit for anyone interested in early Irish Christianity. Located in County Louth, this historic site was founded by Saint Buite in the 6th century and was an important religious center until the establishment of nearby Mellifont Abbey. Despite being captured by Vikings in 968 AD, the site has managed to retain much of its original charm and beauty.
Visitors can explore the old graveyard, two churches, and a sundial, but the highlight of the site is undoubtedly the two high crosses and the round tower. The Muiredach's High Cross, in particular, is a masterpiece of early Christian art, featuring intricate carvings of biblical scenes from both the Old and New Testaments.
The round tower, which stands at about 35 meters high, was used as a watchtower and a refuge for monks and valuables during times of Viking attacks. Although the interior is currently closed to the public, visitors can still admire its impressive structure from the outside.
Monasterboice High Cross and Round Tower is easily accessible from the car park via level, gravel-covered paths, making it an ideal destination for visitors of all ages and abilities. Guided tours of the site can also be arranged on request.
After exploring the monastic site, visitors can take a short drive to the nearby town of Drogheda, where they can discover the town's rich history and culture. The town is home to the famous St. Peter's Church, which features a stunning stained glass window by the renowned artist Harry Clarke. The Battle of the Boyne Visitor Center is also located in Drogheda, where visitors can learn about the famous battle that took place in 1690.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, the nearby Boyne Valley offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and fishing. The Boyne River is a popular spot for salmon and trout fishing, and there are several hiking and cycling trails that wind through the scenic countryside.
Just a short drive away is the seaside town of Dundalk, where visitors can enjoy a day at the beach or explore the town's many shops and restaurants. The town is also home to several historic landmarks, including the 13th-century Dundalk Castle and the St. Patrick's Cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century.
Overall, Monasterboice High Cross and Round Tower is a great starting point for exploring the many attractions of County Louth and the surrounding area. Visitors can enjoy a mix of history, culture, and outdoor activities, making it a perfect destination for all types of travelers.