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Day 8: Clonmacnoise

Today we traveled to Clonmacnoise (pronounced Clawn Mick Noise).  Clonmacnoise is an early Christian settlement with stone chapels and iconic monk round towers. There are two round towers on the property. One is called O’Rourke’s Tower.  It was hit by lightning and then rebuilt in the 12th century.

 It rests on the east bank of the Shannon River and is one of Ireland’s most awe-inspiring sites. St. Ciaran (pronounced Kieran) founded the monastic community in 548 AD.


Clonmacnoise was attacked repeatedly by native chiefs, danes, and Anglo-Normans (Vikings).  It was finally destroyed by English troops in 1552. The monks were always able to rebuild, but the English took everything from the roofs of the buildings to the doors and windows. Clonmacnoise’s location is particularly interesting. It can be found right in the center of Ireland along the Shannon River.

Jose was feeling especially moved and took a moment to rest in the church. The small cathedral was built in the 10th century with additions in the 15th century.


The arch that can be found outside the church is called the Whisper Arch. One person can whisper to another into the stone. The sound travels along a narrow stone path to a person standing on the other side of the arch.

 Click on the link to hear a message from Mr. Foster… Whisper Arch

One of Ireland’s most endearing symbols is the Celtic high cross. You see them all over ireland and they are often in the beautiful countryside.  The carvings  are just like books in the way that they tell stories from the Bible using pictures.  They were probably painted at one time, but have faded due to weather conditions.  You’ll notice in some of the pictures below that a few crosses are located inside, out of the weather.  These crosses are the original crosses that stood for so many years outside.  In order to preserve the integrity of the crosses, historians have moved them inside.  The replicas (an exact model of the original) are now on display in the original locations outside.

One Response to “Day 8: Clonmacnoise”

  1. nsmith says:

    Mrs. Smith’s class thinks the crosses are beautiful. We learned a lot from your responses to Mrs. Cassette’s questions. We also all thought the baby falcon was cute. Kind of the ugly duckling sort of way. 😉

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