March 2016 – Irish Impressions, #3


The monastery of Clonmacnoise is situated in County Offaly, Ireland on the River Shannon south of Athlone.

Clonmacnoise was founded in 544 by St. Ciarán, a young man from Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon. Until the 9th century it had close associations with the kings of Connacht. The strategic location of the monastery helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship, and trade by the 9th century and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland, visited by scholars from all over Europe. From the ninth until the eleventh century it was allied with the kings of Meath. Many of the high kings of Tara and Connacht were buried here.

In the modern day, the site stands as a preserved ruin under the management of the Office of Public Works. The graveyard surrounding the site continues to be in use and religious services are held regularly on the site in a modern chapel. [Source: Wikipedia – extract]

I took these shots on March 5, 2016 (before closing) – they are shown in chronological order. I hope you enjoy the magic as much as we did.


The ravens guarding Clonmacnoise had just one word for us:  ‘Respect’ – and respect for the site we had.

P.S.: What do you think about the landscape mirrored in the glass? It is a kind of magic…



16 thoughts on “March 2016 – Irish Impressions, #3

  1. Beautiful and enchanting ancient monastery photographs of the place including scenery. A perfect post to evoke memories if the ones who came before us. I have 1/4 English and 1/4 Scottish blood which embraces the Isles. My father always said to, “Be nice to the Irish for they had a hard road to go upon.”

    • It was a magic hour, Robin. We were surrounded by the ages, protected and encouraged by the winged guardians. The ravens are doing a great job in keeping this place safe.
      Invasions, famine – these were rough times. Your father’s a wise man.

    • Thank you very much for the praise, Teresa. This site is truly inspiring, all your senses are on high alert. Your painting would be awesome!

  2. Beautiful photographic display, Karen and it looks absolutely wonderful. I bet the atmosphere was charged? I often feel something otherworldly wandering around old monasteries.

    • Thank you very much, Annika.
      The atmosphere was special: We were the only visitors at that time, I had the freedom to respectfully roam the premises. The guarding ravens seemed to indicate the spaces to focus on – it was a memorable experience.

    • It is an awesome place, Lisa. The time of day and weather nicely underline the beauty of this place, combining the past, present and future.
      I love dramatic skies. Blue skies are pretty, cloudy skies are inspiring. 🙂

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