The ruins that can be seen on the Hill of Slane today originate from a Franciscan church built here in 1512. On the hill, however, there was an abbey dating back to St. Patrick in the centuries before.
The reason why pilgrims visit the hill year in and year out is also directly related to Ireland’s national saint. In 433, the saint began the triumphal procession of Christianity here, in which he lit an Easter fire visible throughout the country. The druids at the royal seat Hill of Tara advised their king to extinguish this fire, otherwise it would burn forever. King Laoghaire had St. Patrick brought to Tara, but was so fascinated by the saint that he allowed him to continue. In fact, you have a very good view from the Hill of Slane in good weather. And anyone who has experienced for himself how far the fires traditionally lit at Beltaine can be seen on many hills can well imagine that there could be something to the story of a fire visible from everywhere.
The hill of Slane has always been surrounded by a special aura. Legend has it that the mythical peoples who once conquered Ireland left their mark here. So King Sláine of the warrior people of Fir Bolg is said to be buried under the hill. Another legend tells of a magical spring, the Túatha Dé Danann, which is said to have been on the hill.