|Address:||Murrisk, Westport, Co. Mayo|
Croagh Patrick, 'Ireland's Holy Mountain', is an isolated quartzite cone-shaped peak, rising to 762 metres on the southern shore of Clew Bay, 8km west of Westport. Known locally as 'the Reek', it is one of the most striking features on the Irish landscape. The national apostle, St. Patrick, is said to have spent forty days and nights on the summit of Croagh Patrick, fasting and praying for the people of Ireland around the middle of the fifth century.
Since early Christian times, a national pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick has taken place on the last Sunday in July each year. Thousands of devout pilgrims, many barefoot, climb the mountain in the footsteps of Saint Patrick, where they undertake the traditional stations and attend Mass in the oratory erected at the summit in 1905.
The ascent begins at Murrisk and can be quite demanding in places, especially the upper side of the scree-clad cone. The climb traditionally took place at night with the inspiring sight of lights moving upwards along the pilgrims' path, but it is now undertaken during daylight.
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