Clonfert Cathedral is a very important historical cathedral located close to Ballinasloe in County Galway. Read on to find out what makes this cathedral a top attraction in Galway…
Not only is Clonfert Cathedral one of the oldest functioning churches in Ireland, it was actually established by Saint Brendan the Navigator around 563AD. The cathedral was more of a monastery at that time and it shortly became one of the most important monastic schools in Ireland. At one point, it had 3,000 brothers attending monastery and it was proposed to turn the monastery into a university but this never happened and the university was later established in Dublin.
The most impressive part of the cathedral to be seen today is the doorway which is an example of Hiberno-Romanesque style. Look closely and you’ll see intricate designs and motifs of animals and human heads (maybe those of saints).
Other notable features in the cathedral include the Romanesque east windows, the arches supporting the tower, 15th century windows, a carved oak pulpit, an organ and a bishops oak chair.
St. Brendan the Navigator died around 584 and his body was brough back to Clonfert to be buried.
To get to the Cathedral take the R335 road from Ballinasloe to Portumna and look for the signpost for Clonfert.
If the Cathedral is not opened, a key may be obtained from the house at the right hand side of the Cathedral.
Have you been to Clonfert Cathedral? Let us know about your visit….