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[ Landscapes Collection 2 ]
 
 

Kerry is one of the most picturesque counties in Ireland and also one of the most rural. About a quarter of the workforce are employed in agriculture, and Kerry's equable climate allows pastures to be grazed throughout the winter.

The mountains known as MacGillycuddy's Reeks (background) rarely exceed 1,000 m (3,280 ft) but are still the highest in Ireland, and are a noted tourist attraction.

 

The Hill of Tara, in north-eastern Ireland, has been a sacred place since ancient times. The earliest feature is a Neolithic passage grave (visible on the left), dating from about 2800 BC.

The two circular earthworks in the centre of the mound are ring forts. Up to about AD 560, the hill was the seat of the kings of Ireland.

 

In the 5th century AD Ireland's St Patrick led the conversion of the Celts, the Iron Age invaders of Ireland, to Christianity. Although Christian churches and monasteries were founded for the Celtic people, many of the converts retained much of their Druidic religion.

This Celtic cross near the Shannon River in Ireland, with its elaborate stylised relief of earth gods and woodland spirits, illustrates how the Celtic people merged many of their Druidic beliefs with the new religion.

 

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