Founded by Saint Ciaran in the mid-6th century, it became a great centre of religion and learning, visited by scholars from all over the world. Many historical manuscripts, including the 11th-century Annals of Tighernach and the 12th-century Book of the Dun Cow, were written here.
Today, the site exists as a preserved ruin under the management of the Office of Public Works and visitors can see three high crosses, a cathedral, seven churches, and two round towers. The beautifully preserved structures of Clonmacnoise Cathedral, Temple Doolin, Temple Hurpan and Temple Melaghlin will impress and leave those who visit Clonmacnoise with an authentic sense of the history of Ireland.
To dig deeper into the fascinating history of Clonmacnoise, visit the onsite interpretive Visitor Centre, which displays a number of cross slabs and the 9th-century Cross of the Scriptures. The Clonmacnoise graveyard surrounding the site continues to be in use, while religious services are held regularly on the site in a modern chapel.
- Enjoy the energy of this impressive site with a cathedral, 3 high crosses, 7 churches, and 2 round towers, all in one place and beautifully preserved.
- An important centre of learning and religious life, in operation from the 6th century to the present day.
- It is possible to take a replica Viking Ship from Athlone to Clonmacnoise on the River Shannon.
Murmur into one side of the Whispering Arch to be heard clearly on the other side; this was probably used for confession during the plague.