Rothar Routes

Cycle routes & pilgrim journeys in Ireland and Europe …..

Heritage Week!

August 18 – Aug 26 is Heritage Week. There are thousands of events across the country and there a number in county Carlow too.

I never cease to be amazed by the number of heritage sites in the Count y, many are obscure, hidden away, little is known about them but they are important links with our past. Heritage Week is an opportunity to get out and about and maybe locate some of them and explore your local area.

During the year I visited quite an mont of sites and I have showcased them on the video below:

I hope to put up another post later in the week of other places of interest.

Cycling Lake Garda

Cycling Lake Garda.

I was fortunate to spend some time away cycling in the Lake Garda area last week and was struck by the sheer number of signposted cycling routes. They certainly make it attractive to get out on the bike and follow way marked routes of varying distances that appeal to all level of cycling ability. There are literally hundreds of routes that make use of the local network of minor roads and pathways. In most cases it is simply a matter of erecting basic directional signage, producing a brochure of routes with very little spending on infrastructure. Nothing fancy or expensive, just functional. It can be replicated to great effect here at home with our great network of really good minor roads.

Apart that is from the new 140km cycle path that will follow the perimeter of the lake! It is estimated to cost €102 million when completed!  With so many visitors to the area using cars to circumnavigate the lake and because the western side is fairly inaccessible with many road tunnels that are not safe for cycling and walkers, the new path will help connect isolated villages and open up that side to sustainable tourism.

The first 4km has been built and consists of a suspended path above the lake along the cliff edge. It’s pretty impressive!

The Pattern at St Mullins

Pilgrimage is back in fashion.Over 300,000 obtained the Credencial upon completion of the Camino Santiago in 2017, the ancient pilgrimage routes across Spain to the tomb of St James.



Old pilgrimage routes are being revived across Europe as people try to find a greater meaning in life or maybe just go for a long walk!

The Pattern at St Mullins is a 1300 hundred year old tradition linked to St Moling and St James. It is linked ot St James because the date is set on the Sunday before July 25th, the feast day of St James.I wonder was it ever a starting point for the Camino?

Each year thousands gather here to commemorate St Moling and to visit the graves of this picturesque graveyard and monastic site. The pilgrimage starts with the blessing of the water of the well with pilgrims drinking the water which reputedly has been responsible for many cures down the centuries. The water from the well flows through the mill race that Moling dug out over a period of 7 years Mass is then celebrated at the penal altar in the centre of the graveyard. During the time of the Penal Laws, celebration of mass was outlawed and had to be celebrated in secret and a lookout would have been placed on the nearby motte.

St Moling has attracted pilgrims here for hundreds of years to the monastery he founded in the 7th century; it is Carlow’s Clonmacnoise – the Book of Moling can be seen ion Trinity College, Dublin alongside the more famous Book of Kells.

The graveyard holds many famous remains, from St Moling himself, to Art Kavanagh, King of Leinster who was buried here in 1417 having been poisoned in New Ross. There are many graves associated with 1798 including General Thomas Cloney who died at the age of 24.

With the revival in pilgrimage across Europe, there is surely great scope to develop a Carlow pilgrimage route considering the number of really ancient and important ecclesiastical sites across the county associated with St Moling, Columbanus, St Fiacre, St Laserian and others.

Well worth a visit.

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