Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ireland: Skellig Michael, monk's way in

The monk's had three staircases up to 'the saddle', a U-shaped spot between the two peaks, about 80% of the way up. From that point there was one very steep set of steps, where the monks formed a ledge at the bottom of the terraces. They had to walk along the narrow ledge, with a sheer drop on one side, to come through the door and up the stairs to reach the garden level. The monks owned nothing but the clothes they wore, but around 794 AD, the Vikings attacked, looking for riches that other monastic communities had. They attacked every 20 years or so, one time starving the Abbott to death, but getting nothing in return. The community outlasted the Vikings and stayed on the rock until the 1200's when they moved to the nearby Augustinian abbey where Gina, Tyler and I climbed over the graveyard wall, just the day before.

No comments: