Ireland (764 m) – Sacred Celtic and Early Christian Site
Croagh Patrick is Ireland’s other great pagan-Christian mountain. Located close to the westernmost point in Europe with a view of the North Atlantic, it was long associated with pagan sun worship. It later became a base for St. Patrick, and its name means “St. Patrick’s Stack”. Unlike Slieve Donard, Croagh Patrick remains an active site of pilgrimage.
This ancient hill in western Ireland was a site of pagan worship by the ancient Celts as far back as 3,000 BC. As one of the last places in Eurasia where the setting sun can be seen, it is not surprising that Croagh Patrick became associated with the sun, drawing countless pilgrims annually since the dawn of time, especially on the Summer Solstice. In the 5th century, St. Patrick fasted on the summit for forty days.
Croagh Patrick stands in an isolated corner along the west coast of Ireland. The closest town is Westport, five miles to the east, with Dublin more than 120 miles away. Nevertheless the mountain is accessible by road, and tens of thousands of pilgrims, both Christian and pagan, visit the area annually to worship or simply hike the beautiful area.