Clonmacnoise, Shannonbridge, Athlone, Co. Offaly, Ireland
Photo courtesy of Kevin Griffin/Failte Ireland
ClonmacnoiseThis religious site was once at the main crossroads of Ireland, where all paths and the River Shannon linked up. The monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded by St. Ciarán in the year 544, and it became one of the most famous in the country, as an important center of religious learning and craft. Nowadays it’s a peaceful place to visit, set on a quiet spot beside the River Shannon. There are the remains of two round towers, seven stone churches, a cathedral, and three high crosses, as well as many old gravestones to view.