Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Ireland  /  Province of Leinster  /  County Offaly  /  Historic Sites  /  Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise, County Offaly

(4.6/5 based on 600+ reviews on the web)
A preserved ruin along the Shannon River set against green and rolling hills, Clonmacnoise offers a glimpse into the religious and cultural history of the monasteries in Ireland. Founded in 546 CE by Saint Ciarán, the monastery was a center of learning and trade for over 600 years until it began to decline around the 12th century due to a diminishing population. Visit many of the ruined and partially ruined buildings on the site, including temple Finghín and McCarthy's tower, cross of the scriptures, and the cathedral, where the last High King of Ireland is buried. Many kings from Meath, Tara, and Connacht were buried at this site. Explore the visitor center for a comprehensive history of the site. A visit to Clonmacnoise represents just the start of the adventure when you use our County Offaly vacation trip planner to plot your vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • nice historical high crosses and round tower, amazing view of river Shannon,staff friendly, very easy to go around  more »
  • Might be the best example of a ancient Monastery. We spent more time walking in silence and taking in the tremendous amount of history. Very easy to find and walk around, please if you are close take ...  more »
  • We picked a lovely sunny Sunday to travel to Clonmacnoise. The trip involved meandering small roads to get to the calm oasis. Set on the banks of the river Shannon the religious settlement is a real w...  more »
Google
  • Interesting place. Deep history and a lot of rebirths to the land. Still used to this day for church goers. An active church is here. If you take one of the shortish tours, full of information, you will learn about that. You even learn about the pope's helicopter pad. Purpose built for a pope to make one journey here. Nice place. Very rarely do you get to just walk around a place with so much history. You can touch almost everything. No rope or glass stopping you. Much more interesting that way. Adds a little something you don't get from a museum for example. The freedom to walk around makes it more like an art gallery than a museum.
  • Great experience. You can get a real sense of the history of the place at the museum. Some of the best multimedia pieces associated with the ruins that we witnessed in Ireland.
  • This is a cool place and a nice bit of history but it has been made to be very commercialized and feels more like a theme park than a valuable historical place. It's worth a peek but if you want to feel like you are standing in a place that helps you rise up and meet history, this may not be it.
  • Very peaceful in the early morning. Well worth the detour off the M4 motorway. Stop in Ballydangan on the way. Local guide tip: drive around the back and enter via the graveyard for free or out of hours.
  • Amazingly beautiful and very quiet site. Nice to wander between the graves and the ruins of the old churches. Must have been very spectacular in its hayday. Must see place if you're in Ireland.