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Sacred Mountains

Sacred mountains have featured in many religions so we should not be surprised to find them in Ireland. The best known example is Croagh Patrick in Co Mayo (2150’/764m) and also Mount Brandon (2756‘, 840m) in Co Kerry. While there is much legendary material connected with these mountains, claiming a role for them in the Christian order was a very obvious thing to do. There were several other mountains which attracted hermits to do the same, especially Slieve Donard (Co Down) (2786’/849m, Slieve League (Co Donegal) (1972’/601m) and Church Mountain (Co Wicklow)(1785’/544m). Holy mountains also have a strong place in the Christian East, not least Mount Sinai and Mount Tabor. There were many monasteries on high mountains in the Byzantine Empire in Asia, Syria, Persia, Armenia, and in Greece not least Mount Athos and Mons Meteora – and in several of these monasteries are still functioning today.

for Skellig Michael see under: Irish Hermits