Pictured here is Muiredach's Cross, in the historic ruined religious settlement of Monasterboice, North of Drogheda in Co Louth. This site was founded in the late 5th century by St Buithe and was one of the most important centres of learning and of religion until nearby Mellifont Abbey was built in 1142.
Muiredach's Cross is 5.8 metres high, and is regarded as the finest high cross in the whole of Ireland. It is name after the abbott Muiredach mac Domhnaill who died in 923. The cross features carvings of both the old and new testaments of the bible. It has been described as the most beautiful example of Celtic stonework in existence. It dates from the late 9th century.
Muiredachs cross and the other high crosses on this site have also been stated to be Irelands greatest contribution to European Sculpture.
There are a total of three surviving high crosses situated at Monasterboice, known as the North, West, and South Crosses. Muiredachs Cross is the South Cross.
This one is made from yellow sandstone, and the main shaft of the cross is made from a single solid block of stone. Even though the cross would have originally featured much finer detail (weather having taken its toll), details of the carved figures including clothing and weapons can still clearly be seen. There are 124 figures carved into the stonework here, 119 of which are wearing contemporary costume. All of the figures are bare headed except one, that depicting Goliath who is wearing a helmet.
The ring of the cross features 17 distinct Celtic Geometric patterns.
Monasterboice also features two churches from the 14th century and the 35 metre high round tower (visible on the right hand side of the shot), but it is the fantastic high crosses for which the site is most famous. The entire complex was burned to the ground in 1097.
In recent years, there have been concerns raised about the future of the cross, with some scholars calling for the monument to be removed and placed indoors. It has been noted that the cross is taking longer and longer to dry out, and it appears rainwater is seeping into it. Acid rain and pollution from the nearby recently opened M1 motorway are having an adverse effect, particulary as sandstone decomposes so easily.
Thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
snunney (86574) 2012-10-14 4:01
A fine close-up on this very interesting cross; the detail is quite superb. I like the framing; the clear blue sky makes an excellent backdrop.
krzychu30 (15510) 2012-10-14 4:26
wow,the cross is really beautiful with all these carvings.Thatīs real artwork!It looks so fabulous against the blue sky.You chose here excellent POV and perspective to present the scene to us.Superb clarity,light and conttrast.Colors are also delightful.
Great work my friend!
Have a nice sunday
jhm (141333) 2012-10-14 4:33
A lot victims are fell for the religion long time ago, but also almost everyday in our modern society the same.
You shows us this statue of a very good way.
Excellent composition and lovely sharpness and clarity.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice day,
pajaran (53380) 2012-10-14 4:37
Vrlo intertesantan i dobar tekst, i istorija ...
Dobar ostrina i kontrast, lepe boje.
Dobra kompozicija, lep prikaz detalja na krstu.
Lep krst i reljefi.
Imajte lep dan za odmor.
Intertesantan and very good text, and history ...
Good sharpness and contrast, beautiful color.
Good composition, nice details in the cross.
A nice cross and reliefs.
Have a nice rest day.
All the best.
Highmountains (2255) 2012-10-14 5:44
The photograph shows the subject in great detail. The light and shadows enhance the details of the sculpture. The colours are seep and saturated. The motifs in the sculpting are interesting and it is sad to note that age and pollution is taking its toll on these masterpieces of history. Appreciate your effort in documenting them in detail.
Thanks for sharing.
mirosu (15072) 2012-10-14 7:04
You're capturing well this scene by a good composition and bright blue tone, so it's interesting and impressive to see gray cross with elegant shape. The whole is harmonized well by beautiful color balance of gray and bright blue. And, the clear blue sky draw out an additional good atmosphere, too. Well done.
ACL1978 (7511) 2012-10-14 7:13
Great POV, putting the tower in the BG visible under the arm of the cross. You've got some outstanding detail here - the texture of the subject is incredibly clear, and the bright blue sky is a nice BG, creating good contrast. Nicely done!
adramad (39188) 2012-10-14 9:20
Colossal .... awesome ..... and wonderful, this ancient cross is a monument of great beauty and you've captured in a wonderful POV, which emphasizes their height with the perspective, great sharpness to recreate in the beautiful designs, perfect color.
Very well done. I love it.
Have a nice Sunday afternoon.
ourania (33643) 2012-10-14 9:35
I like very much the closeness to your main subject, the superb sharpness and contrast that bring forth all the very intriguing details on the antique cross. The perspective is most attractive and you've also arranged the other elements of the composition very skillfully in the frame so that we get a great idea of this place in a well balanced view. I love the eloquent textures, the strong colours on the main theme and the well defined but more moderate tones in the background. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,
dta (68934) 2012-10-14 9:48
hello Noel ,
An excellent presentation capture of this oustanding celtic cross . Superbly lit in the perfect blue sky . You 've chosen an effective liow POV , and well placed the stoned tower in the BG .
Energysavingelk (1347) 2012-10-14 12:48
Great image with superb contrast inside the cross and a magnificent blue sky. You must have been there at the right time, half an hour earlier or later, the contrast and visibility of details would have been much worse.
Regards from Rhineland
bukitgolfb301 (36774) 2012-10-14 14:22
Hi dear Noel
Another wonderful image of well balanced framework.
So deep blue sky is marvelous. Clear and sharp image, Top quality shot as usual. Thanks for your sharing and have a good new week!
Takero from Tokyo
madhumita_roy86 (2344) 2012-10-15 5:31
another good image...
nice colour...good contrast with sky...
excellent sharpness...nice weather...
good POV & DOF...
lousat (79237) 2012-10-15 9:09
Hi Noel,spectacular point of view to create this imposing perspective and excellent light position too to see the design between lights and shadows and to have this magnificent 3D effect,very well done,i like it! Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano
Tigerlily (3107) 2012-10-15 9:39
Very strong and excellentlly taken image, Noel. The blue sky made a perfect back drop. Excellent clarity, beautiful work.
JFS (32459) 2012-10-15 10:59
Impressive view of this monumental ensemble, the cross is a marvel. The blue vivid sky completes the beautiful scene.
Good night my friend!
marabu61 (8931) 2012-10-15 13:09
Dia Dhuit Noel
Superb your low POV, it lets the cross go on for ever. Good also how the ruined tower in the background rises parallel to the cross.
Thank you also for the very interesting note, learned again something.
have a good time
delpeoples (53726) 2012-10-15 19:35
Jeez you get around! The variety of Irish counties we see in your Gallery makes me dizzy, you must be on the road all the time. Anyway, this celtic cross is maginificent. The POV is good, the vertical frame the best choice, the details beautifully collected at f/8 and wonderful colours and light management. I think it would have been easy (with that harsh light) to have lost the details in the cross, but you did so well and got everything, including the deep blue sky.
mkamionka (31317) 2012-10-17 12:51
I have visited this place but somehow the cross was in shade and there were plenty of people around it. Very good close up here so that we can admire all the details.
Very well done,
abmdsudi (44908) 2012-10-21 4:52
Impressive compo and pov is so dramatic and closeness making this historic Cross gravestone so significant while we get to enjoy the background giving us the sense of space and depth. It' so elegant indeed while the eye is drawn to the intricate details and colors that gives it all the religious impact. A neat shot blessed by brilliant and richness of colors is admirable, but what impresses me is the atmosphere its coveys being there surrounded by tranquility just what this sight should look like, a place of peace, serenity and rest. Well done, excellent notes as well. Congrats.
P/S Your critique is much appreciated Noel, that's the beauty about TE 'learning the world thru' photography as the spirit of sharing' In fact me too I learn something every day from this wonderful site.
Didi (57758) 2012-10-28 10:13
Interesting perspective on this marvelous cross.
We are able to appreciate the details.
Very interesting notes
serp2000 (41016) 2012-10-31 7:20
Thanks for this presentation of this Celtic ancient cross. Fine details. This is good illustration of so informative historical note.
fritzi007 (7069) 2013-01-09 6:37
This Celtic cross is a feat, really interesting, the commentary is informative. Your photo is perfect, congratulations!
kim_gwan (418) 2013-05-07 6:21
Oh Wow Noel,
What a splendid composition you just did!
Limestone carving within a Muiredach's Cross!
You positioned it so well that it didnt look dull.
Yes, nature will sooner or later erodes the details of the carvings.
Hope these carvings are preserved.
Indrasish (2893) 2013-07-11 9:55
great shot here.. Awesome old architecture.. Nice perspective also.. You took this image with a great composition.. Superb image quality too.. Very well done.. Keep sharing.. Wish you all the best..
Miguel82 (25063) 2015-03-20 16:36
Amazing Celtic cross carved of statues Noel
it was placed in a cemetery and it is surrounded by numerous tombs
magnificent blue sky, sharp image
- Copyright: Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) (25844)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-10-13
- Categories: Daily Life, Ceremony, Architecture, Artwork, Ruins
- Exposure: f/8, 1/160 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): All Saints Cemeteries UK Ireland [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2012-10-14 3:23