island monastery


“Skellig Michael (Irish: Sceilig Mhichíl), or Great Skellig (Irish: Sceilig Mhór), is an island (the larger of the two Skellig Islands) in the Atlantic Ocean, 11.6 km west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. A Christian monastery was founded on the island at some point between the 6th and 8th century, and was continuously occupied until its abandonment in the late 12th century. The remains of the monastery, along with most of the island itself, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Skellig Michael was uninhabited prior to the foundation of its monastery. Folklore holds that Ir, son of Míl Espáine, was buried on the island, and a text from the 8th or 9th century states that Duagh, King of West Munster, fled to “Scellecc” after a feud with the Kings of Cashel, although it is not known whether these events actually took place.

The monastic site on the island is located on a terraced shelf 600 feet above sea-level, and developed between the sixth and eighth century. It contains six beehive cells, two oratories as well as a number of stone crosses and slabs. It also contains a later medieval church. The cells and oratories are all of dry-built corbel construction. A carefully designed system for collecting and purifying water in cisterns was developed. It has been estimated that no more than twelve monks and an abbot lived here at any one time. A hermitage is located on the south peak.”


Eileach an Naoimh

One of the most intriguing - and also one of the less accessible - sites in the care of Historic Scotland, Eileach an Naoimh is a tiny uninhabited island in the Garvellachs group between Jura and Mull. On the island are a series of early Christian monuments including a pair of churches, two graveyards, and domestic buildings such as a kiln, barn, and a double-beehive hut. The monastic cells are within a pentagonal enclosed area looking over a landing place. Beyond the enclosure is another cell divided into two chambers.Eileach an Naoimh is closely linked with St Brendan the Navigator, a 6th century Celtic saint, and with later tales of St Columba. According to legend, St Brendan founded a monastery here in 542 AD. If true, that would make the buildings on Eileach an Naoimh the earliest surviving monastic structures in Britain. Although we must be careful with ascribing dates to the remains, for it is possible that at least some date to the early medieval period, though they may certainly have been built on the site of much earlier Celtic buildings. The earliest written record of a settlement here comes from the late 9th century.

St Columba is thought to have visited the island, and one theory suggests that his mother Eithne is buried here. A solitary gravestone stands on the slope of the hill above the monastery, marked with a simple cross. This is said to be the grave of Eithne (Aethne). According to Columba’s biographer, Adamnan, many of the miracles associated with the saint at Iona actually took place at a nearby island monastery called Hinba, which has been tentatively identified as Eileach an Naoimh. A well near the monastery is still called St Columba’s Well.

The monastery may have been destroyed during Viking raids in the 9th century, and has only occasionally been occupied since then. That very isolation probably explains the survival of the monastic buildings. 

There is no easy way to get to the island, chartering a private boat from Mull is your best bet, unless you have one of your own! 


Kolimvari 14/6/2017 - 1st stop of the day is the Monastery of Gonia, a picturesque Orthodox site. Originally a 13th century complex, this ‘newer’, 17th century site was built after Monk Vlassios had a vision from the Virgin Mary to build a new monastery on the coast. The monastery would go on to have a violent history, suffering Ottoman raids and most recently damage during WWII. You can’t tell however, from the leafy vibes and extensive artefacts that characterise the site.

While photos are permitted in the gold decorated church, the courtyard nonetheless offers a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere, while the balcony offers a stunning view over the northern coastline. €2 entry; ladies, your legs must be covered above the knee (sarongs available to borrow)


Iona cloisters by images@twiston
Via Flickr:
Iona cloisters - The cloisters at Iona Abbey. The abbey is located on the holy Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland. Iona is considered the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland; St Columba founded the Benedictine monastery on the island in AD 563 and is thus regarded as the most holy place in Scotland.


Palermo 2017 #monreale #palermo #sicily #sicilia #cathedrale #monastery #island #meditteranean (at Monreale, Sicilia)

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Some exceptional places to visit on Earth. Part 2

26 Italie: Santa Maria Island ~ The Monastery of Santa Maria dell'Isola was built on a rocky cliff near the beach in Tropea, Italy.

France 27: The Gardens of Marqueyssac ~ Marqueyssac gardens - Belvedere of the Dordogne are in the town of Vézac in a historic park of 22 hectares.

28. Philippinnes : Labassin Waterfall Restaurant ~ This restaurant in the Philippines offers its guests to eat their feet in the water. An artificial waterfall was built for the occasion.

29 Iran: The Mosquée Nasir-ol-Molk ~ The mosque Nasir-ol -Molk is a Shiite mosque in the province of Fars in Iran. It was built from 1876 to 1888 and is full of colors.

30 Russia: Pillars Nature Park in Lena ~ These natural stone columns measure several tens of meters high and are formed by a process of erosion.

31. Thaïlande : Le Temple Blanc Wat Rong Khun ~ Wat Rong Khun is a place of worship entirely white south of Chiang Rai in Thailand.

32. Singapour : Le Parc Gardens by the Bay ~ Green space with remarkable biodiversity, built for more than 625 million. This giant park measures 101 hectares and includes three gardens.

33 United States: Kansas City Library ~ A novel architecture for the library of Kansas City, which offers a facade shaped ledgers stored.

34 Ukraine and Russia: Mount Ai-Petri ~ Ai-Petri is a mountain 1,230 meters high located in the region of Yalta in the Crimea.

35 Egypt: The Library of Alexandria ~ The Library of Alexandria was built in 1995 and cost $ 220 million. It was inaugurated in October 2002.

36 France: Le Moulin de l'Abbaye ~ Le Moulin de l'Abbaye is a luxury hotel located in Brantôme-en-Perigord in the Dordogne. It is a luxury of the Perigord.

37 Pérou: Oasis of Huacachina ~ Huacachina is a village in the Ica Region, in southwestern Peru has an oasis. In 1999, only 115 people lived there.

38 Mexico: The Marieta Islands ~ The Marieta Islands are an uninhabited archipelago off the coast of Nayarit, Mexico. It is an old military became protected national park area.

39 Sri Lanka: The lion rock Sigiriya ~ Sigiriya (Lion’s Rock) is a major archaeological site, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

40 Portugal: Le Fort of São João Baptista ~ The Fort of São João Baptista is a seventeenth century fort located on the island of Berlengas in front of the port city of Peniche in central Portugal.

41 Canada: Montreal Botanical Garden ~ The Montreal Botanical Garden is located in Montreal, Quebec and is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world. It was created in June 1931.

42 Thailand: Phraya Nakhon Cave ~ A Buddhist temple built in the middle of the cave Phraya Nakhon Thailand is illuminated by the light of heaven.

Australie-Occidentale 43: Le lac rose of Middle Island ~ The Hillier lake on the island of Middle Island has a water pink, the cause remains unexplained. It was discovered in 1802 by a British explorer.

44 South Korea: Jeju-do Island ~ Jeju-do is a province and a sub-tropical island of South Korea oval.

France 45: The Ark Breakthrough Chartreuse ~ Discovered only in 2005, the double arch of the Breakthrough Tour is located in the Alps.

46 Turkmenistan: The Gates of Hell ~ The gate of hell (Door to Hell) is a hotbed of natural gas burning continuously since it was lit by Soviet scientists in 1971.

47 China: The sunken city of Shi Cheng ~ Qiandao Lake is based in the city of Shi Cheng, about 1300 years old, it is immersed for 53 years in the deep waters.

48. Maroc: Le Souk de Fes ~ In the souk of Fez in Morocco is one of the oldest tanneries in the world.

49 U.S.: The Fly Geyser ~ Fly Geyser is a small geyser in Washoe County, Nevada, which gives the impression of a brown ooze greenish color.

50 Belize: Le Grand Bleu Hole ~ The Great Blue Hole is an underwater cenote off the coast of Belize. It is almost circular with a diameter of 300m and 120m deep.

51 Brazil: Mount Roraima ~ The mountain also serves as the triple border point of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana.


There are too many Orthodox Churches and Monasteries in Greece that someone can visit, both new and ancient, a big heritage for all of us. I recently received an ask about Religious tourism in Greece. So, some of my favorite destinations for pilgrims are the following:

Roussanou Monastery at dusk, Meteora, Thessaly

Holy Monastery of Simonos Petra, Mount Athos

Saint Nektarios Monastery, Aegina

The Holy Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Souroti, Thessaloniki

Our Lady of Tinos Church, Tinos island

Monastery of St. John, Patmos – Photo by Sotiris Lambadaridis