Clonmacnoise, County Offaly

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. Use our County Offaly trip builder app to add Clonmacnoise and other attractions to your County Offaly vacation plans.
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Clonmacnoise Reviews
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  • This fabulous monastery ruin is well worth going out of your way for. It is not far from Shannon River Bridge which is also worth the trip. The monastery is a large community of mostly ruins that disp...  more »
  • Founded on a marshy relief (in which flows the River Shannon and the intersection with roads) in 548 ad by Saint Ciarin (son of a craftsman) and preserves the remains is a place of pilgrimage because includes the ruins of several churches from the 10th to the 17th century, the age of the round tower, a castle, the three stone crosses and tombstones (early Christian period). Over time as Clonmacnoise also a cluster of houses in addition to the monastery, was often looted and destroyed by the Vikings and the Normans, began to decline in the 13th century, then in 1552 the English troops destroyed the site, now a national monument and has only ruins, in the visitor center (which has a bar for drinks) you see the show audiovisual history and explanation of gravestones and crosses the originals (the cross of the Scriptures : year's 900 a.d. a single piece of sandstone of 4 meters with carved crucifixion, the last judgment and Christ in the Tomb, while the bottom is engraved a clergyman and a warrior holding a pole are assumed to be the Abbot Colman and King Flann who erected this cross and the Cathedral. The Southern Cross has Celtic ornaments with a bas relief of the crucifixion. The Northern Cross estimated 800 a.d. has only the axis and base with engravings of human and animal figures and abstract signs. Various tombstones are carved to represent crosses of various shapes and bear inscriptions ... ... Or (for OROIT) DO ' X ': a prayer for ' X '. Unfortunately the site is explained because they're visible only the ruins ... Dowling's temple and Church of mc. Laffey, the Malaghlin Temple, the Temple of Ciaran and Cathedral, Franchino_110901 Temple, the Temple of Conor, the round tower, the Church of the nuns and the Castle. Unfortunately there are few testimonials and many ruins to interpret ... ... it should be a good guide that will make you reimmedesimare in the story of the times ... or watch the audiovisual Museum path. (There are no Palapas, toilets outside but inside the site, while the point for shopping for CDs, DVDs, books, etc ... it is outside the site where Park transportation.
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  • This is a very nice site, well appointed and friendly. However, the visit is short. I am not convinced of the quality-price ratio.
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  • Very cool place to see, they have an intro video that talks about the history of the site. The visitor guide was 0.50€ extra, which they should just include in the cost of admission. It would have been helpful to have a guided tour and point out some of the notable tombstones and more information about the buildings.
  • Beautiful historic site that you are able to get up and close to. The staff was particularly awesome in explaining some of the artifacts and had a fantastic conversation! Highly recommend!
  • A major attraction as a monastic site, the visit here is well organised and there is a good interpretative center. Nicer on a quiet day and a great place to ramble among the many ruins. The guided tour was good
  • Lovely place to visit. Cafe very nice. Gift shop a bit limited though.
  • Great place to visit. Not to mention the wax figure with an eerie resemblance to my father...we had a great time.

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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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11 days in Ireland & Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Ireland & Belfast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, teens, popular PREFERENCES: May, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM IRELAND March, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: March, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 59 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in County Offaly BY A USER FROM IRELAND November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Ireland, United Kingdom & Amsterdam BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in County Offaly BY A USER FROM IRELAND September, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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