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

Clonmacnoise, County Offaly

4.6
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Church Historic Site
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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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The site of Clonmacnoise with its churches, gigantic Celtic Cross and surrounding cemeteries exudes force Mystic Museum housing the original Celtic Cross and the projection of 20 minutes in french have completed a visit not to be missed at the center of Ireland at the edge of the River Shannon
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  • The remains of the monastery are easily reached by a slight drive off the motorway from Galway to Dublin. The remains offer an astounding peek at this vast compound, situated on a hill and close to th...  more »
  • Coming from the Shannon opened up a good first look at the monastery. After about 5 minutes it is already in the middle. After a short but very informative video you can either alone or guided visit the facility.
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  • This place is spiritual and interesting. The very tall Celtic crosses are especially neat to experience. It was crowded when I visited and that was a drawback for me.
  • 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.
  • Such amazing place to visit with great history.
  • Very informative, full of history, good video on the place in the visitor center too.
  • Interesting historical site, great views of the river Shannon. Very cold spot on a winters day. Well worth a trip.

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Where to stay in County Offaly

While many visitors come to see the alluring monastic city of Clonmacnoise, travelers to County Offaly should consider spending time in some of its overlooked towns, including Tullamore and Birr, because Clonmacnoise does not offer a lot of places to stay. Spend the night at a traditional bed and breakfast in the county's biggest town, Tullamore, or head to a hotel or guesthouse in Birr for a chance to experience authentic Irish nightlife. As with many small towns in Ireland, staying in the center of town is your best bet.
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