Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Innisfallen Abbey

We drove to Killarney today and took a small boat across Lough Leane, the lake on which Ross Castle sits, to see the 7th Century ruins of the monastery on Innisfallen Island.

The monastery ruins are on a 21-acre island in the middle of Lough Leane, which in English, means Lake of Learning. The High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, is said to have been educated here.

Looking from archway to archway inside the monastery ruins. Only the foundations and a few walls are left standing. It was fun trying to identify the buildings of the small monastery: the church with its sacristy, chancel and altar; the chapter house where monks met to conduct their business of the day, the cloister, the kitchen and refectory, the library and scriptorium, the infirmary, the storehouse, etc. One can almost imagine Brother Cadfael living and working in a community like this.

Thirty-nine monks wrote The Annals of Innisfallen at this abbey over a period of 300 years. The manuscript is now kept safe in Oxford's Bodleian Library. It is an important record of over 2500 historical events, spanning nearly 1000 years of Irish history.
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1 comment:

vivien said...

what a beautiful series of photos of Ireland