Visiting the medieval city of Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise, ©Daniel Waters, Co. Sligo, Ireland/Flickr

Clonmacnoise, ©Daniel Waters, Co. Sligo, Ireland/Flickr

The beautiful medieval city of Clonmacnoise has been founded during the 6th century by St. Ciaran and it is one of the most important and is among the oldest settlements of Europe from the early Christian era. The settlement had great importance from strategic point of view as it was built in the middle of Ireland where a pristine roadway went through the Shannon River.

Most of the buildings in Clonmacnoise are in ruins today but their aspect is still worth seeing just as much as the precious and ancient local artifacts which are the remains of the Irish Christian history.

About Clonmacnoise

The meaning of the name Clonmacnoise is ‘meadow of the sons of Nóis’. Archaeological evidence prove that the region has been inhabited since the Iron Age which means that when St. Ciaran has arrived in the middle of the 5th century and founded the monastery, hi did not do it in an isolated place but near an already established station.

Clonmacnoise, ©Photo Obscura/Flickr

Clonmacnoise, ©Photo Obscura/Flickr

The Esker Riada and the pilgrims

For many centuries the Esker Riada has been the most important roadway in the country of Ireland. This naturally formed roadway composed of stone and stand which exists from the end of the ice age runs from the east to the west of the country. Records show that pilgrims used this route to get to Clonmacnoise around 606 BC which makes Esker Riada the oldest pilgrim route of the continent. Most part of the route has become part of the N6 but there is a small section called the ‘Pilgrim’s Road’ which still remained untouched.

Clonmacnoise pilgrims, ©Marcus Meissner/Flickr

Clonmacnoise pilgrims, ©Marcus Meissner/Flickr

Clonmacnoise – medieval city

By the end of the 13th century Clonmacnoise has become a huge highly populated monastic city famous for being a place of pilgrimage and religious learning. The city was also known for its artistic and literary achievements. The local chieftains and kings have left behind many crosses and churches. In the local monastery two of the last High Kings of Ireland are buried.

Clonmacnoise, ©Daniel Waters, Co. Sligo, Ireland/Flickr

Clonmacnoise, ©Daniel Waters, Co. Sligo, Ireland/Flickr

Visit Clonmacnoise and admire the ecclesiastical buildings, walk on the remains of the roads, see the river port, wells, bridges, houses and other structures. If you visit you will also find tracks of Vikings who raided the land and fought notorious battles with the local kings. Because of these strivings many buildings have been rebuilt a few times while others have been replaced by towers, high crosses and churches.

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