• Skellig Islands, Ring of Kerry



Little Skellig and Skellig Michael

Some Guidance information for Tourists: The Skellig Islands (Irish: Na Scealaga) are two small, steep and rocky islands lying about 16 km west of Bolus Head on the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. They are famous for their thriving gannet and puffin populations, and for an early Christian monastery that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


"Great Skellig" photo or "Skellig Michael"


"Little Skellig" image (Sceilig Mhichíl in Irish)


Skellig Island picture


Skellig Islands Sunrise


Skellig Michael (from Sceilig Mhichíl in the Irish language, meaning Michael's rock, is a steep rocky island about 15 kilometres west off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland. It is the larger of the two Skellig Islands. For 600 years the island was an important centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. An Irish Celtic monastery, which is situated almost at the summit of the 230-metre-high rock, was built in 588[citation needed], and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is one of Europe's better known but least accessible monasteries.
Since the extreme remoteness of Skellig Michael has until recently discouraged visitors, the site is exceptionally well preserved. The very spartan conditions inside the monastery illustrate the ascetic lifestyle practiced by early Irish Christians. The monks lived in stone 'beehive' huts (clochans), perched above nearly vertical cliff walls.

The monastery on Skellig Michael survived a number of Viking raids in the 9th century, notably in 823, was later significantly expanded, with a new chapel built around the start of the second millennium. The community at Skellig Michael was apparently never large - probably about 12 monks and an abbot. Some time in the 12th century the monks abandoned the Skellig and moved to the Augustinian Monastery at Ballinskelligs on the mainland.
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