Although Ireland is known now as primarily a Christian country, it was full of legend and myth surrounding the gods that were believed to have created the land in the pre-Christian era. People felt comforted by the fact that these gods and goddesses were responsible for their existence, and claimed their lineage from these mythic heroes.
The mythology of Ireland was recorded in a few separate documents – the Mythological Cycle tells of the settlers that shaped Ireland, while the Ulster Cycle and the Fenian Cycle list the deeds of Ireland’s first heroes. Even though Ireland is now split into Protestant and Catholic factions, the Irish still tend to be very superstitious overall, and there are plenty of places to check out if you’re curious about Ireland’s fantastic history.
Knocknarea Mountain – County Sligo
Queen Medb was a formidable figure in Irish mythology, best known for her part in the Cattle Raid of Cooley. The Cattle Raid of Cooley was first recounted in the Ulster Cycle. It started because Queen Medb wanted to be equal with her husband, but found out he was one bull richer than her. She discovered a bull that rivaled her husband’s, so she sent messengers to go retrieve it. When the owner of the bull refused to give it up, Queen Medb started a war.
Her misdeeds came back to haunt her, and she was buried far away from her court, in County Sligo. Today, a giant pile of stones rumored to be her tomb stands on Knocknarea Mountain.