Dun Aengus is a fort situated on the edge of a cliff at a height of 100 meters
overlooking the Atlantic on the Aran Islands,
Inishmore. It consists of a series
of concentric circular walls, the innermost; the citadel encloses an area
approximately 50 meters in diameter with 4m thick walls of stone. These
walls have been rebuilt to a height of 6m and have wall walks, chambers,
and flights of stairs as well.
O'Brien's Castle on Inis Oírr
in the Aran Islands was built in the 14th century. The castle was taken from the O'Briens by the O'Flaherty clan of Connemara in 1582.
Ionad Arainn (Heritage Centre)
Trace the history of island life in Aran as far back as
2,000 years ago. Ionad Arainn, located in
Kilronan, is definitely worth a visit for those who
enjoy the "informed version" of Aran life and traditions. The heritage
centre guides you through a day in the life of an islander, with regular
exhibitions such as currach (boat) making, etc.
Robert O'Flaherty's "Man of Aran" documentary film (which premiered in
London in 1934) is believed to be one of the finest pieces of film made
and is shown daily.
The centre also contains works of literature by some of the islands' best
known writers and poets, most notably,
Mairtín Ó'Direáin and
Liam O'Flaherty. Both were inspired by life on Aran and have had work translated
into English. Ó Direáin is thought of as "Ireland's unacknowledged poet
The Island's Physical Features
There are many strange and brilliant physical features to
be found on the island. For example, Na Poill Seideáin (puffing holes) and
Poill na bPeist (The Serpents Hole), as well as the famous cliffs of
Dun Aonghasa and the less well known, but just as beautiful, Dun Duchathair
cliffs. These cliffs feature examples of pre-historic settlements on
Mór. These are what are known as hill-forts built upon cliffs as high
as 100 metres. On clear days, one can see Mt. Brandon in Co. Kerry. Both
forts are surrounded by the defensive feature - cheveaux de frise - bands
of stone standing on edge. These amazing cliffs and accompanying forts take
my breath away and incite in me a sense of timelessness. The fact that a
pre-historic tribe, the Fir Bolg, built Dun Aonghasa fort is enough to
have the most self assured person questioning himself and in turn
answering him that the Fir Bolg were an amazing people.
Dun Eochla and Dun Eoghanachta
Dun Eochla and Dun Eoghanachta are ringforts located
inland of the island and can be seen from the main road.
Clochan na Carraige
Clochan na Carraige is a beehive hut. The structure is
unusual because the outside is circular but the inside is rectangular.
Examples of Inis Mór's Christian heritage can be seen
everywhere on the island and each has it's own special point of interest:
Teampall Bheanain ("teampall" meaning the word church) is
considered the smallest church in the world and is notable for it's
orientation - north or south facing instead of east or west facing.
Na Seacht dTeampall (The Seven Churches) features remains of late
11th century high crosses.
Teampall an Cheathrair Álainn has a holy well located nearby which
inspired Synge's play "The Well of the Saint