Clonmacnoise | Attraction Guides | History Hit


Birr Municipal District, County Offaly, Ireland

About Clonmacnoise

The Lost City of Clonmacnoise could be described as Ireland’s first true city.

St Ciaran established Clonmacnoise in the 6th century, at the ancient crossroads of Ireland at the junction of the River Shannon and the Eiscir Riada.

This ancient monastic settlement quickly grew in to a thriving university city and centre of trade with people from all over Europe coming to learn during Europe’s Dark Ages. The settlement reached its height between the 9th and 12th centuries but unfortunately its success drew the attention of invading Vikings, Normans and English, and in doing so, eventually led to its demise in the 16th century.

What remains today are two 12th century round towers, and the remains of seven churches, and 3 ornate high crosses. The visitor centre includes displays and exhibitions detailing the history of Clonmacnoise, and includes an interesting twenty-minute audio-visual show.