Ireland (850 m) – Sacred Celtic and Early Christian Site
Slieve Donard is the tallest mountain in Northern Ireland and one of the chief peaks associated with Celtic mythology in the British Isles. It also played a role in early Christian history in Ireland, and its name means “Donard’s Mountain” in honor of the saint who once preached there. Slieve Donard was one of the key anchorpoints in early geographical survey points of the British Isles, and is famous for the ancient burial cairns which are located at its peak.
The area around Donard’s Mountain was inhabited at least as far back as 3,000 BC. Two of the world’s oldest burial cairns, dating from this period, can be found on its peak. According to Celtic folklore, an entrance to the underworld can be found under the mountain. Ireland’s first physician, Slangha, apparently learned his trade here. Slieve Donard was used as a missionary base for Donard, a follower of St. Patrick, who was later canonized.
Slieve Donard is located close to the coast of the Irish Sea, approximately two miles south of the town of Newcastle. On a clear day the Isle of Man. As well as the cities of Belfast and Dublin, is visible from its peak. Slieve Donard used to be the site of an annual pilgrimage. Although this tradition is now gone, thousands of hikers visit the mountain annually. Northern Ireland’s famous Mourne Wall passes over Slieve Donard and is the mountain’s best known landmark.