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quite a sight

These pics show Ireland in all its beauty


IRELAND HAS SOME incredible locations: looming, craggy cliffs; the lunar-like Burren; stunning ancient tombs.

Now Peter Harbison, an archaeologist, historian and writer, and Leslie Conron Carola, writer, editor, and book producer, have brought out a new book that shows off the Emerald Isle in all its glory.

Here are some of the images you’ll find in Ireland: A Luminous Beauty.

Ireland Christopher Hill Christopher Hill

“Most people think of Skellig as an island with a monastery of beehive huts on a terrace 550 feet above the Atlantic waves. But not many know about—and, for safety reasons, even fewer have access to – a much more ascetic spot on the island. It is located just below the southernmost, taller of the two peaks, about 715 feet high. It is reachable by rock-cut steps, through the perilous ‘Needle’s Eye’ and up a further steep climb partially using steps carved out by the monks of old. All of this leads to three separate small terraces, one of which has a little corbelled oratory less than eight feet long, and basins for holding water, while, nearby, is an open-air altar.” Photo: Chris Hill

Glendalough Roundtower Carsten Krieger Carsten Krieger

“Glendalough  – the Valley of Two Lakes- is tucked away in the Wicklow Mountains south of Dublin. Because of the valley’s steep sides, the sun sets comparatively early there, sometimes almost creating a sense of melancholy from mid-afternoon on. As such, it was an ideal place for St Kevin to find solitude away from “the madding crowd’s ignoble strife”, and to pray and commune with his Maker in what became a hermitage near the upper of the two lakes in the valley.” Photo: Carsten Krieger

p25 Hill of Tara GM

“Over centuries, kings fought to claim the prestigious title of “King of Tara,” though Maelsechlainn I (846-862) may have been the first to claim jurisdiction over other parts of Ireland and extend the title realistically to King of Ireland. In 1022, the real importance of Tara waned, after which the city of Dublin became the prize to win.” Photo: George Munday

p22 Dun Aengus GM

“Located on Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay (“o’er which the sun goes down,” according to song), [Dun Aengus] it gets its name from Aengus, a chief of the Fir Bolg, ‘vassal tribes’ who were pushed westward in Ireland until they could go farther, where they faced the choice of either defending themselves, or falling over the cliff into the sea.” Photo: George Munday

p18 Stone Circles GM George Munday George Munday

“Stone circles, found in many parts of Ireland, and dating mainly from the Bronze Age some three or four thousand years ago, are enigmatic. Modern Calvinistic folklore saw them as people in a circle who were turned into stone because they dared to dance on the Sabbath.” Photo: George Munday

Poulnabrone, Sunset Carsten Krieger Carsten Krieger

“The magnificent fiery light at sunset provides a dramatic backdrop to this most famous of Irish dolmens (Poulnabrone), located in the Burren of County Clare, looking as if it were a lasting statuesque survivor as the world goes down in Armageddon’s cataclysmic flames.” Photo: Carsten Krieger

  • All photos and captions taken with permission from Ireland – A Luminous Beauty by Peter Harbison and Leslie Conron Carola, published by The Collins Press.

Read: Take an online tour of Ireland’s beauty sites with Wikimedia>

Read: Heritage Ireland: Deserted medieval towns, the Hellfire Club and Lady Rohesia’s gem>

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