Scotland: Iona Island
Hello everyone, I would like to invite you to visit a very special place in Scotland called Iona. To get there we took a ferry from the town of Oban to Craignure, Isle of Mull. Then we drove across Isle of Mull to Fionnphort and finally, we took another ferry from Fionnphort to Iona. We stayed in St. Columba Hotel, near the monastery. Here is our group waiting in the hotel lounge:
Iona is a holy isle, an enduring symbol of Christianity in Scotland. St Columba and his followers came here from Ireland in AD 563 and founded a monastery that became the heart of the early Scottish Church. As a celebrated focus for Christian pilgrimage, Iona retains its spiritual atmosphere and remains an enduring symbol of worship.
Tourists come to Iona to visit its monastery founded by St. Columba. Columba and his monks established their monastery in 563, the year of their arrival. From there they conducted a mission to the Picts in the north, to the Anglo-Saxons in Northumbria, and throughout Europe, reaching as far east as western Russia. During the next two centuries, under a series of abbots, the monastic buildings were frequently rebuilt.
The abbey church was restored at the beginning of the 20th century, whilst work on restoring the living accommodation began in 1938, following the foundation of the Iona Community.
Today, the Iona Community continues the tradition of worship first established by St Columba 1450 years ago. Iona Abbey is one of Scotland’s most historic and sacred sites. The Book of Kells was created in the monastery on Iona.
Not far from the monastery was located the Augustinian Nunnery, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, built in the thirteenth century, around the same time as the Benedictine Abbey.
As we stand withing the beautiful ruins of the Nunnery, considered to be one of the best preserved examples of its kind in Britain, we can imagine the nuns worshiping in the little chapel or having their meeting in one of the rooms.
More pictures from our first walk in Iona:
This is only the first post about Iona. The island is fascinating and I have more interesting information ready for this blog. Stay tuned!
Source: IONA. A Pilgrim’s Guide by Peter W. Millar