Visiting Kildare

What to see and do in Kildare, Ireland

Visit the ancient shrine of the Celtic goddess Brigid in beautiful Kildare. In its pre-Christian age, the city of Kildare played a very important role in the religion of what is nowadays known as the Kildare region, as it was the site of the shrine of the goddess Brigid. Brigid was the daughter of the Dagda and the sovereign Celtic goddess Eriu. Similar to the Roman Minerva and the Greek Athena, this Celtic figure embodied the state of elevated state of mind and body. However, unlike her continental counterparts, Brigid was often seen as having three sisters or being a triple goddess. It is said that in the times of the Celtic culture the flame from her shrine was kept continuously burning by nineteen priestesses. In case of attacks upon the ancient city of Kildare, a priestess used to hide a coal from the burning fire and run away with it, so that the eternal flames of Brigid would never go out. What is amazing is that after the population in Kildare embraced Christianity, the perpetual flame of Brigid fell into the duties of the nuns of the Abbey of Kildare. After 1220 men were also allowed to attend the flame of what was now St. Briget by the order of the Patriarchal Bishop of the lands.

Also nearby is the Curragh Racecourse, or simply "the Curragh" as it is known. This is one of Ireland's most famous horse racing venues, hosting famous races including the Irish Oaks, St Leger, the Irish 1 and 2 thousand Guineas and the Irish Derby.

Getting to Kildare

Kildare is in County Kildare, and within easy reach of Dublin, on the M7 motorway. It takes just 45 minutes to drive the 30 miles or so from Dublin to Kildare.

Moving on from Kildare

You could easily make a day trip to Kildare from Dublin. If you are on a driving tour and heading east, then Dublin makes the obvious next stop. Heading away from the Dublin area, you could choose to turn west, and check out Tullamore. Or if you head east, towards the coast, you could visit the Wicklow Mountains and then on to Wicklow town.

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