Na Seacht dTeampaíll

8 Oct

While our group was in Galway, we made a day trip to the Aran Islands. Touring around Inis Mór, the group made a stop at an ancient monastic settlement called Na Seacht dTeampaíll, translated to (The Seven churches). The site contains the ruins of two small churches and some domestic buildings.  Like many other sites in Ireland, the settlement was a center for monastic learning and the blending of native Celtic religious beliefs with the Latin Christendom of the European mainland. This blend of beliefs came to be known as Celtic Christianity. The rise of Celtic Christianity can be seen in the development of the Celtic cross. The cross combines the important symbols of both belief systems; the Pagan sun and the Christian cross.  Founded by St Breacán, the site of the Seven Churches contains the remnants of three ancient Celtic crosses dating back to the 12th century.

 

Today the area is more than just an ancient historical site it is also a graveyard. Headstones fill the gaps between the buildings; hundreds of people have been packed into one tight area. I think the site is really representative of the importance placed on Irish heritage in Irish culture. Every native Irish person wants to be buried in a place like Na Seacht dTeampaíll because heritage is so important to him or her. The Irish are proud of there cultural identity and they are really interested in preserving their history.

 

The site is a living history lesson that can teach us about the people that were living in Ireland more than a thousand years ago. 

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