This island was covered in dense pine and oak forests; ash, hazel, birch and rowan added to the whole gamut of brown and green, beautiful in their sadness. Willows bending over the rivers and evergreen yew trees swaying harmoniously to the beat of winds covered the land. Squirrels could take long trips all around the island by simply travelling on the crowns of trees, without touching the ground. That was 10,000 years ago.
Once upon a time…
The foreign people that came to this land decided to stay. They left us a heritage of over 120,000 historical sites that are inexhaustibly interesting from whatever point of view. Whether it’s the standing stones arranged in a circle at Carrowmore, the powerful dolmen of Poulnabrone, or the large circular mound with a stone passageway at Newgrange, (the prehistoric monument that is older than Egyptian pyramids) – these are all magical places, silent places, places that have hidden their secrets for more than 5,000 years.
Beautiful and mysterious Celtic warriors, people who believed that souls live in the head, who considered the Sun as their God, who expressed their own sensuality and fashion through designs and ornamental patterns, who passed on their traditions, knowledge and culture orally (Druids), people who came from faraway places such as present-day Bavaria and Bohemia, left behind as their legacy all that that we call Celtic today – our language, our traditions, our music. A unique Celtic style made by a mysterious pagan hand. All this started 600 years BC.
Once upon a time….
Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, tried to explain the mystery of the Trinity to the Gaelic population. They say he used a simple shamrock as a visual aid for the pagans to understand three Gods in one, God the Father , God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, in the Christian tradition. This was around the year 435 AD. Nowadays, almost everyone knows about the Irish Shamrock, one of the most significant symbols in Ireland.
During the Golden Age, Ireland was an inspiring influence on science, knowledge, education and religion. Numerous monasteries were founded and were scattered about the island. In dark and cold cells monks were translating the Four Gospels from Ancient Greek to Latin…..That work practically turned out to be the first Irish edition of Bible.
Today we can look at the pages of the oldest Irish manuscript, “The Book of Kells”, without ever stopping to ask the question: How could they create such detailed traceries, elaborated in every single step, so rich, so colourful and so unique with only a small light from a 8th century candle?
Fast and ruthless warriors, the adventurous and cruel Vikings discovered Ireland and made it their personal market for valuable things such as food, slaves and hides. Vikings pillaged from Irish monasteries on a regular basis for quite a long time. But at some stage the Vikings got weary of sailing across the seas and decided to moor their ships in a small peaceful backwater. They called that place “Dubh Linn” which translated, means “black pool”.
Today, on that pool sits Dublin, the Capital of the Republic of Ireland, famous as the second biggest slave market in the 9th and 10th centuries: and also in the top 10 list for tourist destinations in Europe, one of the most requested cities for visits. All the above is but a relatively small part of Ireland’s unique history.