Pictured here is a view of the Rock of Cashel in Co Tipperary, without doubt one of the most iconic Irish landmarks and one which stands proud on a rocky outcrop 300 feet in the air. It is visible for miles around, and it is easy to see why this location was chosen for this historic stronghold.
Ancient legends associate the site with Saint Patrick, and archeological excavations show traces of a church dating back to the 9th century but most of what we see today came into being in the early 11th century. Its name comes from the Irish word Caiseal which means stone fort. The 12th century saw the Rock become a major Christian center. Despite what we know the Rock as today, it has been known as a fortified position in the country since the fourth century.
It is recorded that St Patrick converted the King of Munster Aengus MacMutfraich to Christianity here in around 450 AD. After this, the site became the seat of power of the Kings of Munster, the most famous of whom was the legendary Brian Boru.
Boru was crowned here in 990 and he went on to become the only king who was able to unify the whole of Ireland under one ruler. In the days of Brian Boru, Ireland was very much a feudal society with very few towns, and certainly no cities.
After his crowning, Bran Boru ruled from here for 24 years and his position was instrumental in bringing a sense of law and order, and with that a new prosperity to the country. He fought off Viking invasions including the best known battle of Clontarf where he defeated their hoards. After the Vikings were defeated at Clontarf, they remained content to stay within the confines of their cities in Dublin, Waterford, Cork and others. Of course, they reached outside sporadically to fight epic battles around the country but in time the Vikings became as Irish as the Irish themselves.
In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ui Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. Although the site itself is much older, most of the buildings here today are from the 12th and 13th centuries. The oldest and tallest structure is the round tower (pictured here on the left) which is 90 feet tall and dates from app 1100.
In 1647, during the Irish Confederate Wars, Cashel was sacked by English Parliamentarian troops. The Irish confederate troops stationed there were massacred as were all of the Roman Catholic clergy. The English troops looted or destroyed many important religious artifacts. Fearing a slaughter at the hands of Cromwells troops similar to that of Drogheda which saw 3500 men, women and children butchered, the townspeople of Cashel flooded into the cathedral believing they would be safe under the Medieval law of Sanctuary. Despite this centuries old custom, Cromwells troops stacked huge piles of turf around the building, set it alight and watched as everybody inside burned to death.
After this, the cathedral began to be used by the Church of Ireland Protestant faith, but they abandoned it in the mid 1700s' As they left, Arthur Price, the Anglican Archbishop of Cashel ordered the roof to be removed from the structure so that he could use the valuable lead which made up a large part of it. This left the site exposed to the elements and it began to decay. Price's decision to remove the roof on what had been the jewel among Irish church buildings was criticised before and since.
For decades now, renovations and archeological digs have been ongoing at the site, with the famous Cormacs Chapel being under scaffold for at least 4 years now. Of course, its worth it for the amazing finds they have made here, and for the ongoing protection of the site.
Today, it is open to tourists who can view the story of this place in the multimedia room (built into one of the old walled fortifications) and at their leisure stroll around the grounds of this place which has seen such an incredible mix of those people who influenced Irish history. From St Patrick to Brian Boru to Cromwell, the Rock of Cashel is a wonderful piece of Irish history.
The picturesque complex has a character all of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe.
I was very lucky when I took this photo this morning, I had left my hotel at 7.15 to try and catch sunrise here as I knew the sun rose behind the rock. A 10 minute walk brought me to this spot, and this light and color show in the sky lasted no more than 5 minutes. Extra luck is that the area in the foreground showing the reflection of the building on the rock is actually a field, but the recent storms that Ireland has witnessed has left many areas of the country saturated with water and flooded. Normally this would just be a pasture filled with sheep but today I was lucky to get the reflection at the same time as the light and color!
Thanks for looking.
Critiques | Translate
cornejo (47242) 2014-02-22 11:41
Hi Noel, very good picture of this interesting composition in the beautiful sunset, very well captured in this beautiful and interesting image, with good sharpness, light and color. Very good and interesting job well done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing.
Good night and good Sunday.
Warm greetings from southern Spain.
lousat (98221) 2014-02-22 11:41
Hi Noel,you like a lot the backlights and this is truly beautiful,a great exposure to take the best colors of the fire in the sky,and you play very well with the dark silhouettes,great quality too.Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano
photoray (13981) 2014-02-22 12:02
"It is a long way to Tipperary", especially for me.
You have created an attractive panorama of the Rock of Cashel, with the sunrise glow highlighting the fort and trees, and a magical reflection in the foreground water.
It is sad to realize all the hatred and tragedies occurring here over the centuries. And hopefully this treasure will be protected for ever.
Thanks for sharing,
PaulVDV (32665) 2014-02-22 12:48
The Rock of Cashel clearly has a lot of history behind it.
Remembering other pictures of this place I didn't recall to have ever seen a pond or a lake. The misfortune in terms of the weather means a godsend for the picture. Because of the excessive rainfall during the last time the green island will look even more green.
The sunrise coloured the sky very beautiful and I like the silhouettes of the trees on that fiery background very much.
Best regards, Paul
krzychu30 (15512) 2014-02-22 14:05
sun can creates truly delightufl spectacles!
You´ve found magnificent scenery for this beautiful moment and you wera also able to master perfectly the available light.Love the tranquil and pleasant mood of the scene and of course its color scheme.
Have a nice sunday
carlo62 (55660) 2014-02-22 15:07
una storia molto antica e ricca di avventure ricopre questo luogo, la foto porta con se tutta questo, la posizione del castello, i colori del tramonto e il riflesso, contribuiscono a rendere leggendario il luogo che riusciamo ad ammirare attraverso il tuo scatto.
imageme (1790) 2014-02-22 16:23
Hi Noel, Beautiful sunrise captured moment. The Rock of Castle stands in the shade gives a mysterious mood to the composition. Soft reflections in the water adds to its dynamic feel. Great POV and well composed sunrise presentation. Thank for sharing
Corry (4508) 2014-02-22 20:43
Belle prise de vue de ce coucher de soleil derrière le château. Les couleurs sont magnifiques avec des reflets dans l'eau. Bien fait.
jjcordier (79297) 2014-02-22 23:24
Ce lever de soleil crée un bel effet couleurs dans le ciel et sur la pièce d'eau.
emka (107671) 2014-02-22 23:44
The photo as fresh as the French baguette! Today made and today posted. You had a nice trip and the effort of getting up early was well worth - the photo is very beautiful. I like most here the delicate bare branches against the sky and delicate reflections. Marvelous shot, you were lucky.
Warm regrads MAlgo
Subhogen (4067) 2014-02-23 0:34
Beautiful view of the castle at sunrise. Like the way the silhouetted figure of the castle and the barren trees are etched out in the orange sky. The sky colours are just magical. Good for you that the recent storms has left this puddle of water to catch the wonderful reflections of the sky and the castle. Like the serene atmosphere captured as well. Very well done, thanks for sharing.
Romano46 (18472) 2014-02-23 1:33
meraviglioso e suggestivo.
Il sole che si spegne dietro al castello diffondendo bagliori nel cielo e, di riflesso, nell'acqua cfreao un effetto straordinario che rende la scena magica.
Hai saputo attendere il momento più appropriato per scattare la foto evidenziando questi particolari effetti.
Ciao e buona domenica
tenretin (2657) 2014-02-23 1:42
You did there a classic photo with beautiful light and an interesting atmosphere.
brianmcc (6221) 2014-02-23 2:21
this is a great outline of the castle sandwiched between the amazing colours in the sky, and their reflections in the water. the glow is amazing.
mirosu (16273) 2014-02-23 2:35
Beautiful sunset photo, excellent composition with nice reflections.
Excellent exposing for the sky has nicely captured the colors of the sunset and made a good silhouette of the trees and the castle.
Very well done.
SnapRJW (31629) 2014-02-23 2:48
Hello Noel - As always you have given us a fine note to accompany your beautiful early morning shot. You have managed the light very well here with detail in the shadows and a nicely exposed sky. The pool of water and reflections add interest to the FG. Well worth the early morning wake-up! Warm regards and keep well Rosemary
timecapturer (49288) 2014-02-23 3:33
this is a peach of a shot (excuse the pun). I love the mood and atmosphere here in this sunrise. It is pure magic and always so when you witness the dawn in a place like this. Nobody around just you being at one with nature's paintbox. Glorious imagery and one heck of a note too Noel! Beautiful! and a unique image that comes from the recent record rainfall.
ourania (51103) 2014-02-23 4:12
an enchanting photo of an interesting place that looks magical at this hour. I like very much the lines of the landscape and the way the castle stands out against the morning sky. The water in the foreground offers lovely illumination, symmetry and a dimmer version of the wonderful breaking colours. The atmosphere evoked is superb and the view is so inviting to explore. So many fascinating pictures from your notes are projected on this clear and peaceful setting. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely day,
abmdsudi (58218) 2014-02-23 6:10
A superb low light image, glorious colour and detail add to a great composition which does also indeed give me a glimpse into their environment. A lovely shadow area that makes the image so much better as well as the subtle toning with stillness water reflections. What a shot one serious dawn to be very envious of! Congrats
photographer_sg (4414) 2014-02-23 6:12
Fine view of the historic castle. Beautiful framing and composition with great atmosphere. as you wrote the reflections enhance the beauty many fold. Informative note. Thanks for sharing and have a great new week ahead.
jcpix (13950) 2014-02-23 8:36
Now this is how you kick start a new day...I'd willingly be up early to witness this sunrise over this venue, what a beauty! "The Rock" we have here is of a different nature as you know, but this one would seem to have experienced quite a bit more history. First time I've ever heard of a roof being removed, seems rather unusual and certainly blows away the ideal of "having a roof over your head."
Despite the problems caused by the excess rains, it's sure provided a spectacular opportunity of reflection...especially with those colors! Much more attractive than a "mine" filled pasture, yeah? :) Right place at the right time, this kind of atmosphere doesn't last long unfortunately, and you've done a great job bottling it up for a compelling result to match the visual and text. Quiet, calm and just plain gorgeous. Thanks for being up at the crack of dawn. hehe Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Take it easy.
Cheers from the Wild West,
delpeoples (59844) 2014-02-23 14:27
Gidday Noel of the golden Wheatjuice
I hope that Coors - and some of its brothers - went down nicely. We don't get much of that brand here, I must give it a try. When Kari from Finland was here, I got him hooked on James Squires. Yes, I remember your deep-seated suspicion of any red meat source that can swim or go near water, let alone ingesting fish in any shape or form. How weird, because Ireland has such good seafood. The memory of eating some freshly caught Killibegs scallops as big as the palm of your hand, still brings tears of nostalgia to my eye. And guzzling a kilo of steamed Bantry Bay mussels in 1995 gets me misty-eyed.
Anyway, to your beautiful photo. I can see why you uploaded it the same day you took it. Eureka, what a beauty! The pastel colours are just so magical adding to the already magnificent subject matter and POV which has given you 2 Rocks for the price of 1. The reflections are sensational, and I can see how much thought has gone in to getting this POV.
I see you have encountered the dilemma I always do. When not shooting in sillhouette, how do you keep the brilliant sky, yet illuminate the subject satisfactorily? Grey grad filter? - difficult when you have anything other than a straight horizon and nothing intruding into it - like a ruined castle or sea cliffs. Merging of 2 images, 1 exposed for the sky and 1 exposed for the forgeground, alla Inasiajones? - a great idea,but technically difficult. Layers alla John tyro? - again difficult but not as. Selective darkening and brightening without Layers alla Lisa and Noel? - easier but difficult to obtain an image where there is no halo around the subject, unless the selected area is refined and feathered - and the brightening/darkening is not too dramatic. I'm still working through all these options, but have found that refining the edge of the selection, whether it be straight out or in layers is a lot more effective. My conclusion is that I need to do a Photoshop course.
Anyway, these are my Monday morning thoughts, excuse them being so muddled, it's 9:30am and I've already worked 5 hours. Thanks for sharing this photo, she's a beauty.
Have a wonderful week and thanks for the Mamma-thoughts, she's been moved out of hospital now and is in rehab hospital!
Royaldevon (43865) 2014-02-24 1:25
Good Morning Noel,
It's a long way to Tipperary,
It's a long way to go ! ...
Sorry, just couldn't resist!
This is a fine view, very nicely composed in its own right, but when you add the beauty of the setting sun, with all its shades of amber and gold, creating a dramatic backcloth, you have something quite outstanding.
Thank you for sharing this.
I like it very much,
Gigidusud (21247) 2014-02-24 11:35
Wow! Splendid sunset with nice silhouettes architectures and beautiful reflections. I like a lot!
Have a nice week my friend.
jemaflor (103585) 2014-02-25 23:23
well taken with an excellent result with this beautiful warm light, the nice reflection on water and this interesting architecture presented with contrast.
macjake (73057) 2014-02-25 23:35
Sweet shot here Noel!
Correct me if i'm wrong, but i don't think you post many sunrise or sunset shots? no..?
perhaps many people would say this one has a rather romantic flare...and i'd agree. there's something soothing and calming about it.
but the best part has to be those trees on the right.
talk about an awesome silhouette!!!!
love the black against the orange.
no tripod for this one? looks great though. well planned and executed
Fis2 (107346) 2014-02-26 1:41
Excellent composition and colors.
Very impressive picture!
Have a nice day
mesutilgim (97712) 2014-02-26 14:07
Hello dear Noel,
Amazing mirroring effect !
Very good pov and layout.
TFS and best regards
omid266 (6750) 2014-02-26 19:42
** Salam , Hi Noel,
Very excellent work from Rock of Cashel ,
very nice scene , nice color , nice text,
from this ancient building ,
Thank you for sharing this nice art work,
Hope protection for this monument ,
danos (103212) 2014-02-28 0:47
fascinating the view as the presentation of the sunset colour tints of the sky,making the image so effective and unique.The created reflections with the darkish section of the land in the frame,creates interest layers in the image.Well done.
Indrasish (2943) 2014-03-07 12:52
How are you my friend.. I love this wonderful shot.. Wonderful composition with the castle and the silhouette of the trees.. Really like the orangish color tone at the right side of the frame.. And the main beauty of this photo is the reflections in the water.. Superb image quality too.. Very well done my friend..
Good Night and best wishes from Kolkata..
tulipan7 (804) 2014-03-09 6:25
I love the colors of the sky and the reflection of the castle... Great shot...
fds (9569) 2014-03-14 10:18
dear irisch friend very beautiful moment you a tacke from the very nice composition with the sunrise the castle over the hill the reflection on the water and magic moment
i love the sunrise
i visit all place at the sunrise magic moment dear friend
adores (46417) 2014-03-20 17:06
Seems it was worth getting up so early:)! This castle is very well located and you got very good colours at this moment of the day. I like the composition with the reflection.
serp2000 (45970) 2014-07-12 5:48
Great timing shot! I think a few minutes you have seen not so picturesque scene. Thanks for so interesting historic note, it's great illustration of these words. And it looks some dramatic (not romantic) with the bloody sky. Good exposure, fine DoF!
- Copyright: Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) (33714)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-02-22
- Categories: Castles, Ceremony, Architecture, Artwork, Ruins
- Camera: Canon EOS 60D
- Exposure: f/8, 1/60 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-02-22 11:34