These are the remains of the Royal Augustinian Abbey of Cong. It contains some of the finest examples of early architecture in Ireland including Gothic windows, Romanesque doors, clustered pillars, arches, standing columns and floral capitals. The original monastery was founded by St Feichin sometime in the early 7th century but was destroyed by fire in the 12th century. In 1135, the great High King Turlough Mor O’Connor refounded the Abbey. In 1198, his son Rory, who became the last High King of Ireland was also buried here (however his remains were moved to Clonmacnoise). Up to three thousand Cenobitic Monks resided within it’s walls and would have studied history, poetry, music, sculpture and the illumination of books. They were also skilled craftsmen in metal work, engraving, and harp making. Over the years, Cong Abbey was attacked and rebuilt many times and has served many purposes including, a hide out for the O’Connors, a hospital for the sick and a shelter for the destitute.

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