There has been an Abbey on this site since 563 AD when St Columba came from Ireland and began to convert the Picts and Scots to Christianity.
In addition, Iona was the location where the famous Book of Kells was written in 800 AD.
Finally, the graveyard here is supposed to be where 48 ancient kings are buried including Macbeth.
It gave us chills to walk on the same stone paths as all of these historic figures.
Iona Abbey is peaceful and tranquil. It’s hard not to be filled with serenity as you stroll back in time.
A step back in Time
Iona Abbey is the absolute must see on the island. While the buildings were mostly restored in the 20th century and few buildings remain in their original state it is still a remarkable place. Wandering through the abbey church, the cloisters or even standing on the small hill thought to be the site of Columba’s writing hut you cannot help but be transported back centuries when the island was an important holy site.
Even with the crowds that pour off of the ferry, the site does not feel overrun. Do take time to walk around to the back of the complex where the Abbey museum is located in a separate building. It contains remnants of three of the priceless and massive stone crosses that used to be located in front of the Abbey church together with other fascinating items.
Admission includes an audio tour guide. Allow at least one hour.
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