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Located 1 hour north of Dublin, the high crosses of Monasterboice are one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland.

Monasterboice is a true hidden gem that not many people know to visit. You won’t even find a visitor centre, meaning you can roam around the site in relative peace and quiet.

The original monastery was founded in the 5th century by St Buithe, a pupil of Ireland’s patron saint, St Patrick. The ruins lie within an inconspicuous cemetery on the east coast. The Medieval monastic enclosure encompasses a round tower, churches, high crosses, tomb slabs and an ancient sundial.

The highlight of visiting Monasterboice is the high crosses. The most impressive stands near the entrance. At 5.1 metres (17 feet), Muireadach’s Cross (southern cross) is renowned as one of the most beautiful examples in all of Ireland. This artefact dates back to the 9th century.

You probably won’t miss the unusually tall and aptly named Tall Cross (western cross). It stands at 6.45 metres (21 feet).

All the crosses are adorned with carved panels depicting scenes from the Bible.

The round tower nearby is no longer accessible for safety reasons.

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