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Skellig Michael


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Source: Jerzystrzelecki

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Skellig Michael is a twin-pinnacled crag situated 11.6 kilometres west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. The larger of the two Skellig Islands, the island is known for its steep landscape, the Gaelic monastery founded between the 6th and 8th century, and its variety of inhabiting species, including gannets, puffins, a colony of razorbills and a resident population of approximately fifty grey seals. The rock contains the remains of a tower house, a megalithic stone row and a cross inscribed slab known as the "Wailing Woman".

The island, along with some of the Blasket Islands, forms the most westerly part of the Republic of Ireland. It consists of approximately 44 acres of rock, with its highest point, the Spit, is 714 feet above sea level. The monastery is situated at 550–600 feet, while "Christ's Saddle" is 422 feet and the flagstaff area is 120 feet above sea level. The island's slopes are ascended by a flight of stone steps. The name "Skellig" is derived from a Gaelic word for a splinter of stone . Its twin island, "Little Skellig" is larger but practically inaccessible, and is closed to the public. Skellig Michael is named after to the archangel Michael, said to have appeared there to help Saint Patrick banish serpents into the Irish sea.


Copyright: Creative Commons 3.0

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