EuropeIrelandIsland

Inis Cealtra

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HISTORY

Inis Cealtra, or Holy Island, is an island off the west coast of Lough Derg, Ireland. Now uninhabited, it was once a monastic settlement. On the island is an Irish round tower and the ruins of several small churches, as well as part of four large stone crosses and a holy well. In the early Middle Ages, both in Ireland and England, there was a tradition of erecting large crosses carved into stone, usually in the open air. Sacred wells were wells revered by Christians or pagans, and sometimes both. The term, in fact, has come to indicate any small water source that has special significance in relation to the folklore of the region.

WHY THIS PLACE

The local Cemetery is still in use and the coffins and relatives and friends of the deceased are transported from neighboring County Clare to the island in small boats. Around 520 AD, Saint Colum founded the first monastery of Inis Cealtra. The second monastery, which was a famous center of learning, was founded by the Bishop-Abbot Saint Caymino, who died in 653 AD.

CURIOSITIES

Vikings visited the island in 836 AD, led by Turgesius, and killed many of the monks during the raid. Another Viking raid, led by Tomran, took place in 922 AD. C. The religious buildings of Inis Cealtra were no longer occupied after the Reformation.

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