Skellig Michael, Ireland

Skellig Michael was the chosen destination for a small group of ascetic monks who, in their pursuit of greater union with God, withdrew from civilisation to this remote and inaccessible place. Some time between the sixth and eight centuries, a monastery was founded on this precipitous rock giving rise to one of the most dramatic examples of the extremes of Christian monasticism.

The monastic community appears to have moved to the mainland by the thirteenth century but the island continued to be venerated as a place of pilgrimage in the following centuries. In the nineteenth century, two lighthouses were built on Skellig Michael, establishing its importance in Ireland's maritime history.

Skellig Michael is also one of Ireland’s most important sites for breeding seabirds both in terms of size of colonies and diversity of species. In 1996 UNESCO inscribed the island of Skellig Michael onto the World Heritage List in recognition of its outstanding universal value.

Plus de photo par neja