Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ancient Graveyard

There is an ancient place almost smack dab in the middle of Ireland, right along the shore of the Shannon River called Clonmacnoise.  Located just south of Athlone in the County of Offaly, it features some of the most beautiful hand crafted Celtic Crosses you could ever imagine.


Built and founded around 548AD, what started out as a Christian monastery later becoming a community with seven churches, a cathedral and two towers to protect the people from being attacked is now an amazing tourist spot rich in history and heritage.  The majority of buildings there are ruins but had been used as late as  1979 for church services.  



Some of the gravestones have been there almost 1500 years which can be told evidenced by how they stood up in the Irish weather over the years.  Some are hard to read being as old as they are.





Others have multiple family members buried in the same spot.  It was interesting trying to figure out when people were born based on how they wrote on the stones back then.. no born on date.  I can only imagine the stories from this place if the walls could talk..

 The story that really caught my attention was of when the community was being attacked numerous times between the 8th and 12th Centuries.  The people would use the towers - neither of which had a ground level entrance - by climbing a ladder and then bringing the ladder into the tower with them to avoid anyone else from entering.



So many stories of battles and anguish from this sacred ground, it was almost surprising to hear a positive legend that if people took the ground on which the building below stood and put it in their crop, that they would have a tremendous crop that year.




Being that pictures tell a thousand words....I had to share..















22 comments:

Sarcasm Goddess said...

That looks so fantastic. I want to go to Ireland sooooo badly. Maybe I could blow up your pictures and paste them to my walls and then I'll think I'm really there.

Lisha @ The Lucky Mom said...

I've been there! Mr. Wonderful and I went to Ireland for a week in 2007, and our gracious host brought his helicopter and flew us over this place. I saw a full circle rainbow that day over the Shannon River!

Jarmila V. Del Boccio said...

Beautiful photos, Amy...and I love the history behind them. Ireland is one of my favorite places in the world. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy A to Z!

Andi-Roo said...

Awesome pics, & a great AtoZ Challenge topic! Can't wait to see what you post tomorrow for "B"...

Andi-Roo /// @theworld4realz
http://www.theworld4realz.com/
theworldforrealz@gmail.com

Baygirl32 said...

Amazing photos!

happy A to Z

baygirl32.blogspot.com

Emma said...

Amazing pictures and such incredible history. Brilliant post, I look forward to tomorrows.

Jennifer Hall said...

Wow, Amy. Love historical stuff. And I'm finally old enough that I don't find cemeteries creepy anymore.

Stephiliboo10 said...

So interesting! I didn't get a chance to get over to Ireland, but I can't wait to go and explore! I'll soon be back living in Liverpool; which is right across the Irish Sea!

kris said...

Always liked picnics in the cemetery after attending the graves, usually neat as a pin, and so peaceful- to have a sandwich under the pines-cedar-fir trees

laughingabi said...

Hey Amy - This makes me want to pack up and go somewhere! Beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing.

coffeelovinmom said...

It really was surreal to be in a place like that. I got a really good shot at another location in Ireland that I totally could make a mural out of and you would think you could walk right into the scene..

coffeelovinmom said...

You are truly lucky to have been to Ireland! We saw an incredible rainbow while we were there too. How neat a view it must have been from a helicopter!

coffeelovinmom said...

Thank you! Ireland is probably my favorite of our European travels, so beautiful!

coffeelovinmom said...

Thanks Andi - and for the retweet! I will be sure and visit your blog!

coffeelovinmom said...

Thank you! Can't wait to get into all the visiting!

coffeelovinmom said...

Ireland is the richest in history..tomorrow we're off to France!

coffeelovinmom said...

Peaceful indeed!

coffeelovinmom said...

I have to admit, it was a little eerie being there and walking around. I didn't want to stray too far away from the rest of the group..

coffeelovinmom said...

Definitely a place to visit if you get the chance...being so close, you really should!

coffeelovinmom said...

It's so green there - I love it the most!

coffeelovinmom said...

p.s. if I still had this job, I would tell you to get your passport - you would be a blast on one of these trips!!

Barbara Zając said...

ohh my! This post makes my miss Ireland! There is so much to see there and enjoy! :)

Nice to meet you through the A-Z Challenge!

English Speaking Zone

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