The Rock of Cashel and an Irish Hangover Cure

On November 4, 2013 by Oren and Cassie

Irish history is full of wonderful myths and legends woven together with superstitions. Irish culture is full of drinking. Inevitably, these two converged, and they did so at the Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland’s most famous monuments.


The Rock of Cashel atop its hill


Technically, the Rock of Cashel isn’t a castle, although it certainly looks like one. Since all of the buildings have a religious purpose, it’s a church. This small difference did wonders to preserve the Rock, since castles tend to get attacked, besieged, and burned to the ground in the name of someone else’s divine being. Churches are more often left alone.

There is no single stone that is the Rock of Cashel. Instead, the Rock is the entire set of buildings. Cormac’s Chapel, the main building at the Rock of Cashel, is undergoing extensive restoration work, including a 6 year process to dry out the stone and remove the mold. The admission price is €6, and it includes a great 40-minute tour. And that’s where we learned how to avoid a hangover.


It’s too easy!


The buildings that make up the Rock of Cashel form a sort of U-shape around a central field. In the middle of this field is St. Patrick’s cross. (This one is a replica. The real one is in the museum protected from the elements.) On one side is a carving of St. Patrick, and on the other side is a carving of Jesus. Stand around long enough and you’ll see tourists desperately hugging the cross.

Legend has it that, if you hug the cross and touch your fingertips on the other side, you will never suffer a hangover again. No matter how awful the weather is when you visit the Rock of Cashel (and it was quite awful when we arrived), you absolutely have to try. If you want it enough, you’ll make it happen. You can quickly spot the telltale smile of those who have tried, stretched, and conquered the cross.



Almost doesn’t count!

Be tall. That’s the short and the long of it. If you’re not pretty close to 6 feet tall (or 2 meters), you haven’t got a chance. I will never be hungover again. Irish legend can’t say the same for Cassie.


There is one more legend associated with St. Patrick’s cross. The cross sits on a bit of a stone platform. If you hop on your right foot 9 times all the way around the cross counterclockwise, you’ll get married within a year. Only in Las Vegas are stories about drinking more closely intertwined with stories about marriage.

I think there should be a sequel to “The Rock” called “The Rock (of Cashel),” where Sean Connerey and Nicolas Cage find themselves in the 17th century trying to stop the English from destroying the church. I’d definitely see that.


5 hops to go around St. Patrick’s cross

Check out our Rock of Cashel gallery.

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