|These photos were taken by myself on our recent trip to Clonmacnoise, an early monastic settlement located in County Offaly, Ireland right along the river Shannon. Clonmacnoise was founded by St. Ciaran in year 548, and quickly became a large settlement full of craftsmanship, learning, trade, and religion. But out of all the craftsmanship, learning, and trade, religion was the main focus of Clonmacnoise. The river Shannon allowed Clonmacnoise to become a large trade settlement. While this was good for the city and allowed a lot of growth and prosperity, it also brought a lot of trouble with it.|
Vikings and Anglo-Normans raided Clonmacnoise multiple times, plundering the city. Time and time again the settlers at Clonmacnoise would rebuild and continue on with life, until the city was destroyed by the English in 1552. All that remains of Clonmacnoise today are the stone walls of their buildings and the hundreds of celtic crosses standing tall on the grounds. I found it truly fascinating to be able to visit the ruins of such an ancient city. Just being able to walk inside and physically touch the walls with my hands was unreal. Knowing that these ruins used to be a place where people once worshiped and lived, truly made it an unforgettable experience.