- Limestone fields
- Burren National Park
- City of Crosses
The Irish region of Burren amazes tourists with its rocky landscape, which associates some with the lunar and some with the Martian surface. These are rocky plains with low hills covered with large slabs of porous limestone. Between the plates lies a thin layer of alluvial soil, incredibly fertile.
Due to their structure, the plates retain water and retain heat - a large number of herbs and flowers grow on small plots of land between them. Some lakes dry out by spring, and abundant flood meadows appear in their place.
Burren is famous for the fact that here plants of different climatic zones are found on the same territory - this is not found anywhere else. Biologists have found here more than 200 species of orchids growing so far from their native tropics. Forest grasses grow in the meadows, and mosses and lichens live on the stone slabs themselves.
The soft stone formed on the bottom of the ancient sea from corals, mollusks, and the remains of marine animals is easily amenable to the elements of water, which created a large number of caves in this area with underground rivers, lakes, and huge stalactites. Sometimes the cave arches do not withstand the onslaught of the elements and collapse, forming picturesque bumps on a stone plateau.
This region has been inhabited for several millennia. Fertile meadows allowed cattle to be grazed here, soft stone gave in to processing well. Little is known about the civilization that existed here even before the Celts: fragments of ancient graves, the so-called triangular graves, and parts of stone buildings testifying to the life of ancient tribes were found in Burren.
Burren National Park
A huge flow of tourists in this area forced the Irish authorities to take measures to preserve a unique stretch of nature - in 1998 the state bought part of the territory of 1,500 hectares to create the Burren National Park. The park has everything that makes the region unique: stone plateaus, lakes, caves, swamps and meadows. The entire park crosses a rocky ridge with the highest point of 207 m. Fantastic rocky landscapes complement the view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Despite the lack of high climbs, moving around the area is not easy. For tourists, the park administration has developed 7 walking routes of varying complexity and length, from 1 to 3 hours. The tracks are marked on the maps in different colors, the complexity of the route is indicated. You can go the route yourself, or you can as part of a guided tour. There is a parking lot at the beginning of each route.
Unusual plains and hills of stone slabs, the complete absence of signs of civilization in the foreseeable space, the waves of the ocean allow tourists to mentally travel back centuries. There are many tourist attractions in Ireland that attract tourists - perhaps the Burren National Park is not the main one, but it is certainly worth spending a few hours to see a unique corner of nature.
City of Crosses
From the south, the village of Kilfenora adjoins Burren, which in the 12th century became the episcopal center of these places. In Kilfenor, the building of the Gothic cathedral, built at the turn of the 12th-13th centuries, has been preserved. The main building of the cathedral in 1200 was partially destroyed and was preserved in this form during the restoration of 2005. On the walls of the cathedral preserved images of the 13th-14th centuries and extensions made in the 15th-16th centuries.
Kilfenora became famous for its huge crosses installed in the local cemetery, and because of them it received the nickname "City of Crosses". High stone crosses decorated with carvings were placed here in the Middle Ages starting from the XII century. 3 of them, which are best preserved, were transferred to the destroyed part of the cathedral, which was covered with a glass dome for preservation.
In addition to the ancient cathedral and crosses, there are still the remains of old buildings:
- ancient ring fort
- 16th century castle
- estates of the 18th century.