Holycross Abbey is one of the best known monastic sites in Ireland, a Cistercian abbey restored between 1970 and 1975. I highly recommend a drive from Thurles to Holycross to Cashel(via the Cabragh Wetlands centre for a rather different, but as rich, aesthetic experience) – from some miles away the Rock of Cashel  looms, giving a real sense of pilgrimage. Approaching from the other side of Cashel (ie off the M9 motorway) just isn’t the same.

As Holycross was restored from a ruinous condition, obviously the stained glass is of a recent vintage. Most of the windows in the Abbey are of “bare” glass, which contributes greatly to the austere beauty of the Abbey. In the North and South transepts smaller chapels feature striking, more contemporary glass.

 

Window in true cross relic chapel

 

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