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Skellig Michael

Listed under Islands in Southwest Ireland, Ireland.

  • Photo of Skellig Michael
  • Photo of Skellig Michael
  • Photo of Skellig Michael
Photo of Skellig Michael
Photo by flickr user mozzercork
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Just off the Iveragh Peninsula is the sacred island of Skellig Michael, one of the most remote islands in Europe.

Legend associates it with St. Fionan, the Irish saint, though it undoubtedly has spiritual associations way before. In the Middle Ages it was populated by monks and hermits, who abandoned it sometime in the 13th Century. Today you can visit a small group of 'beehive' huts where the hermits lived. Surrounding terraces were laid out to grow vegetables. St. Michael is the patron saint of Skellig, and gives his name to the island - as with Mont St Michel and St Michaels Mount. As a place of pilgrimage, it had connections with both these, as well as Delos and Mt Carmel in Palestine - all once part of a pan-European pilgrim route.

Written by  James Dunford Wood.

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Skellig Michael

This monastic complex, perched since about the 7th century on the steep sides of the rocky island of Skellig Michael, some 12 km off the coast of south-west Ireland, illustrates the very spartan existence of the first Irish Christians. Since the extreme remoteness of Skellig Michael has until recently discouraged visitors, the site is exceptionally well preserved. Copyright © UNESCO/World Heritage Centre. All rights reserved.

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