Photographer's Note

This is how I've imagined Ireland even before I've moved here...

I have discovered this place last Sunday during an one day, drive-around trip with one of my friends which you Guys also know by the way (mkamionka). The weather was brilliant, so I couldn't really waste it, could I?

This shot was taken on the Hill of Slane. The ruins represent the Friary and College. These are the remains of a 1512 reconstruction of the old monastery which the Fleming family re-built for the Franciscans. The college which you can see here (well, the ruins not the college itself) housed four priests, four lay-brothers and four choristers. The place is believed to have been abandonned as a place of worship in 1723.

The importance of the Hill of Slane itself can (according to some sources) be traced back into prehistory, probably as far as the Neolithic. In ancient Dindshenchas mythology, the Fir Bolg king Sláine was said to have been buried here. In Christian history the hill became established as the place where St. Patrick lit the first paschal fire in direct defiance of the pagan kings at nearby Tara.
Archaeologists however have suggested the Paschal Fire may have been lit at Brú na Bóinne, and possibly Knowth, instead of Slane.

The hill remained an eminence of Christian significance long after St. Patrick appointed Erc as the first Bishop there - a monastery survived on the Hill of Slane even after successive raids by the Vikings. It is still believed to be a mecca for pilgrims to this day.

According to some other sources, there are other less known facts, which make Slane a mystical and fascinating place. The 'motte' which stands on the western side of the hill, shielded from view by a wood of trees, is said to be of Norman origin, but is probably the burial mound of Sláine, the Fir Bolg King, who according to legend was the one who cleared the wood from the Brugh when the mounds of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth were built. The mound also has interesting alignments with other ancient sites, and in mythology may have an astronomical significance.

Apart from all historic facts it is really picturesque place. The views from the hill are amazing if of course you have a nice weather. What's also important, it's not sucha long drive from Dublin - perfect for short, half-day trip (or even less than one day). 7

I hope to show you some other shots (different POV, different side of the hill with the remains of the church, etc.) from this place.


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Additional Photos by Dariusz Gruszka (darek1978) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1204 W: 3 N: 1674] (13361)
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