The Blarney Stone, one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations, has made the list of the worst sites in the world to visit because of "“traces of spit left behind with every pucker.”
The County Cork attraction, which offers those who kiss it the gift of the Blarney (the gift of the gab) was deemed unworthy of a visit in a book entitled '101 Places Not to See Before You Die,’ by Catherine Price.
Perched high in the battlements of the Blarney Castle in the village of Blarney in Cork, the stone itself dates back to the twelfth century. Some believe it is the original Stone of Scone upon which the first King of Scots was seated during his coronation. Legend says that part of the stone was presented to the Lord of Blarney Castle, Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314. It was Bruce’s gift for the Irish support of the Scots during the Battle of Bannockburn.
The stone was originally known as the Lia Fáil or the Stone of Destiny, it’s mysterious powers were first realized by a witch.
Tourists who visit the historical site, climb the windings stairs up to one of the highest points of the castle where they then are lowered on their back to kiss the ancient stone, which gives the gift of eloquence.
Trip advisor in the past named the Blarney Stone the least hygienic tourist destinations due to the thousands of visitors who kiss the stone on an annual basis.
Responding to the comments, Blarney Castle owner Sir Charles Colthurst defended the historic attraction.
“To my knowledge no one has ever caught anything from kissing the stone. I had an esteemed expert clarify that you cannot catch any disease from kissing the stone,” Sir Charles told the Irish Times.