Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monastic City of Clonmacnoise

The Monastic City of Clonmacnoise and its Cultural Landscape is located in Counties Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath in the centre of Ireland. It is an unparalleled and outstanding example of a relict early medieval Insular monastic city unobscured by modern building development. It is set within a superlative semi-natural landscape that deepens it spiritual qualities, adding greatly to its authenticity and integrity. The interaction between man and the natural environment in Clonmacnoise is of unique universal value. The architectural ensemble at Clonmacnoise represents an outstanding example of an early medieval Insular monastic city. It represents a significant stage in the development of early medieval Christianity in the North Atlantic. Archaeological excavation coupled with exceptional documentary sources has demonstrated that Clonmacnoise was a civitas in reality as well as in name, unlike many other Irish sites, and, moreover, its dates are relatively early in the chronology of urban development outside the boundaries of the old Roman Empire. It is therefore highly significant to our understanding of the development of urbanism generally in Atlantic Europe, as well as clarifying non-Viking urbanisation in an Irish context.

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