July 1, 2011

0 Ireland! Clonmacnoise and Some Coast

Clonmacnoise is one of Ireland's most extensive monastic sites with some of the best examples of the Celtic high crosses.  Founded by St. Ciaran, whose main claim was converting a prince who soon became king (which Ciaran predicted), the site is still a pilgrimage destination and has even been visited by the Pope (John Paul II).  Situated perfectly in central Ireland at the crossroads of the River Shannon and the natural glacial eskers, it was a common stopping point for traders who were transferring from boat to land transport.

The two high crosses are now in the climate-controlled visitor's center, but identical copies have been placed in their original locations.  This is the Cross of the Scriptures.

An early graveslab.

The ruins include several temples, two round towers, a cathedral, and a castle.

The cemetery surrounds the ruins.

The River Shannon.

The round belltower at the Temple Finghin.

Some Atlantic coastline in County Galway.

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