There are many reasons why Clonmacnoise is a very important place. It was once a major city and place of learning. It’s buildings span a time period of 800 years and still remain a place of pilgrimage. It’s common faith heritage makes it a place of unity for Christians.
However we did not choose it for these reasons. We chose it because, walking around the small area it occupies, you can trace all of Ireland’s lenghty and often turbulent history. Looking around you can see the story of Ireland unfurling from the Ice Age right up to a new nation’s efforts to safeguard it’s cultural identity.
Clonmacnoise is a place where the fingerprints of all those involved in Ireland’s past can be seen. It is a doorway to our history.
An Early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian graveslabs in Western Europe. The original high crosses and a selection of graveslabs are on display in the visitor centre.
The long and varied history of Clonmacnoise is recounted in an audiovisual presentation shown in the visitor centre. There are also exhibitions that deal with the flora, fauna and landscape of the region.
Clonmacnoise will host the Queens on the Friday Tour of Offaly.
Address: Clonmacnoise, Shannonbridge, Athlone, Co. Offaly.
Telephone Number: 090 9674195.
Fax No.: 090 9674273.
For more information visit Heritage Ireland website.
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