The Waterford Ardmore Cathedral is a beautiful ruined Irish cathedral located in Ardmore, County Waterford. Beautiful, it is considered to be the oldest cathedral in Ireland! The building would indeed have been the first Christian settlement in the history of the country!
The Cathedral (also known as St Declan’s Cathedral of Ardmore) is believed to have been founded by St Declan, an Irish man who wanted to evangelise the Waterford area around 350-450, long before the arrival of St Patrick. For this, the saint decided to have a monastic place built _ the first in Ireland! in order to facilitate conversions and encourage the worship of his converts.
The place then became an important religious center of the time, evolving regularly architecturally speaking. Thus, the centre progressively acquired :
In addition, there is a small cemetery, with scattered tombstones, sometimes collapsed by time.
Among the curiosities, don’t miss to admire the cathedral’s outer walls: its bas-reliefs are sumptuous, and represent an ancient harp, as well as scenes depicting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. A scene from the Judgement of Solomon also appears on the same wall.
Note also the presence of 2 carved stones within the cathedral. These show traces of oghamic writings.
The cathedral is magnificent, although slightly destabilized by the ground over the centuries. An exceptional place, as if suspended, out of time!