December 11, 2015

2112 IRELAND (Leinster) - The Monastic City of Clonmacnoise and its Cultural Landscape (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

2112 The monastery of Clonmacnoise
- McCarthy's Tower

Situated on the River Shannon, south of Athlone, the monastery of Clonmacnoise (Cluain Mhic Nóis in Irish, meaning "Meadow of the Sons of Nós") was founded in 544 by Saint Ciarán, one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. The strategic location helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship, and trade by the 9th century and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland, visited by scholars from all over Europe.

Until the 9th century it had close associations with the kings of Connacht, and then, until the 11th century, it was allied with the kings of Meath. Many of the high kings of Tara and Connacht were buried here. It was attacked dozens of times between the 8th and 12th centuries, the period of its greatest growth, mostly by the Irish, the Vikings and Normans. The wooden buildings were replaced by stone structures, and the population grew to perhaps 2,000.

In the 12th century Clonmacnoise began to decline. The reasons were varied, but the most debilitating factors were the growth of the town of Athlone, and the influx of continental religious orders. In 1979, Pope John Paul II visited the ruins. Since 2007, Youth 2000 Ireland, a national non-profit Catholic organisation for young people, run a donation for a summer festival every year in St Mary's Field, by the ruins of the old monastery.

The Hiberno-Romanesque church named Temple Finghín and McCarthy's Tower, were built between 1160 and 1170. The structure is possibly the earliest example of a church and round tower being part of a single structure in Ireland. The conical tower (4m in diameter at the base and 16,76m height) has seven windows in total, five of which are located on the south side. A sixth window is on the north side, while the west window may have belonged to the Cathedral.

About the stamps

The stamp was issued on April 23,3015 by Correos de España for Europa Stamps 2015 - Old Toys

Clonmacnoise - Wikipedia
Temple Finghin, Romanesque Church with Round Tower - Megalithic Ireland

Sender: Brian / fisherman (postcrossing) IE-104037
Sent from ??? (??? / Spain), on 15.11.2015
Photo: Bord Failte

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