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.
Tours to Clonmacnoise
$1,088 BOOK WITH VIATOR 5-Day Escape to the South West Small-Group Tour from Dublin
Duration: 5 days
It’s easy to understand why the monks settled in this spot. Even today the only sounds were from birds & the river. The scenery is truly spectacular here. Due to COVID there are no tours or video... more »
I always love coming here. The staff are always lovely. Because of Covid we booked online, it was flawless, it’s a pity the visitors centre wasn’t open but we practically had the ruins to ourselves. more »
The atmosphere is superb. You feel the saints of old are close to you here. The people on duty are delightful and very enthusiastic about their work and the site. It is really well thought out with a very good film and display boards which help you to appreciate what you are seeing. The museum which houses the three high crosses is excellent. It is well worth a lengthy detour to make a visit. Especially if you approach as a pilgrim.
Absolutely one of my favorite places I've visited on this trip. A site of incredible historical relevance that is well maintained and has a very informative little museum attached. One particularly striking feature for me was the sense of peace here, and there are so many interesting tidbits of information that make it a worthwhile stop for any history enthusiast. I will definitely return when I can.
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