Tuesday, 31 March 2009

K is for...

Kilmacduagh

Ireland is absolutely chock-o-block full with churches, church ruins, graveyards, monastery ruins and the like and this is no exception. If you get off the beaten track in the Burren (Co. Clare), a fantastic 'rocky place', you might pass this site. It's Kilmacduagh and it used to be a monastery. However, when the English decided they would become Anglicans, Catholicism was banned and anything related to that faith was largely demolished. This is one of the sites that didn't make it.

This photo was taken late in the afternoon in October of 2005. My sister and I had been visiting the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher and were on our way back to our Bed & Breakfast in Spiddal (Co. Galway). Because I had done that trip through the Burren several times before, I knew where to go and we stopped at this place. The sun was setting, it was quiet and the only ones watching us were several cows and their calves. The setting was just so peaceful!

The large tower you can see on the left side of the church is called a round tower. Several explanations have been given to their use and their function, but the most general ones are: it was used as a look-out, a focal point for visiting pilgrims, a bell-tower and storage. The idea that monks would shelter in them in case of attack (Irish, Vikings, English) has been left to rot lately, because that would mean sure suicide. Set fire to the place and they were trapped, since the doorway was three meters above ground and the ladder (more used than stairs) was usually taken up in the tower to avoid strangers entering. Most of the round towers that have survived through the years have survived because of their shape: the wind can't really get a grip on them.

How can you not love Ireland?

For more K words please check out: ABC Wednesday

17 comments:

  1. Really beautiful shot and I agree with you, how can you not love Ireland! Thanks for a great post!

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  2. I totally agree. I always say my island is like a mini Ireland, but you have more of evertyhing.

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  3. Beautiful sunset and an interesting post...love to see a daytime shot of this...

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  4. Thank you for your cheerful comment on my site, but perhaps we do not use the key in that way :)
    Your photo has a special atmosphere,
    a fine choice for "K".

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  5. A beautiful country and a very interesting post and choice for the letter K.

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  6. I would love to go to Ireland some day (having a déja vu now, because I just wrote that in another comment about a Kerry-post, but it's true). Looks like a beautiful place.

    Zag dat Sophie misschien problemen heeft met haar medicatie. Ik hoop dat het beter met haar gaat nu?

    Groetjes,
    Carolina

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  7. Sometimes I wonder how people of the past would feel if they knew how history would regard them for destroying religious and historical landmarks like this.

    I bet it is still gorgeous; your photo certainly is. I must visit Ireland someday.

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  8. Having some Irish ancestry, it would be nice to tour some of these places some day. I don't think it will happen, but it would be nice.

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  9. Wonderful silhouette! Ireland is one place I would dearly love to visit one day.

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  10. A great shot; I like the composition and lighting; interesting reading too.

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  11. What an interesting 'K' post. I like the bit about the round tower, because I'd always understood the most likely use was a defensive stronghold, but I'd thought the same about the dangers of being beseiged in there!

    Beautiful photo, too.

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  12. @Carolina: Sophie now gets half the medication and is starting to get used to it. Other than that she's doing fine: miaowing like the old times!
    @Picture Each Day: I wonder that still about people destroying even ordinary homes today!
    @Everyone: Ireland has captured me from the very first time I set foot there, unfortunately a lot of photos have been lost because of an argument between me and my computer (I lost). So I strongly recommend all of you to just go and visit Ireland some day. You will not be disappointed!

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  13. That is a very lovely photo! I found your description quite interesting - makes me want to visit Ireland, for sure!

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  14. Wonderful silhouette shot and interesting history. I've never been to Ireland, but I love it already.

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  15. You have a beautiful blog. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award from authorblog!

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  16. Beautiful and peaceful shot! In our relgious history we certainly have ignored the sixth and tenth commandments too much (some of the others too).

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  17. Fabulous photo! I could look upon this scene for hours...so peaceful! I can almost hear the chirping of birds...and the sound of quiet...Congrats on your mention in POTD! You have a beautiful blog!

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Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!