Ireland is known for its ancient high crosses, and nowhere are the intricately carved Celtic crosses more impressive that those at Monasterboice (Mainistir Bhuithe). Here at this historic Christian settlement about 50 minutes north of Dublin, three tall crosses form the main centerpiece for the handful of travelers that visit. Of the three different crosses, Muineadach Cross, standing 16 feet high, is one of the tallest crosses in Ireland, and is ornately carved with scenes from the Bible as a pictorial means of scripture. Behind the cross is an imposing round tower that stands 110 feet high, and would serve as a refuge for monks and valuables when under a Viking attack. While the interior of the tower is closed to the public, the stone remains are an impressive example of ancient Irish architecture, and along with the ruins of two small churches, form a small, sacred—and slightly haunting—site in County Louth.
There is no fee to visit Monasterboice, which is located 5 miles northwest of the town of Drogheda. Early morning and late in the day are when the site has the fewest crowds, and Monasterboice is popular with guided tour buses during the middle parts of the day. Access is via a short, gravel, walking path, and there are no facilities, food, or drink available at the site.