Muckross Abbey Lakes of Killarney Ireland 1892

Muckross Abbey Lakes of Killarney Ireland about 1892

MUCKROSS ABBEY LAKES OF KILLARNEY IRELAND — The Lakes of Killarney are exquisitely beautiful features of Ireland, about 50 miles north of Cork and 180 miles south of Dublin. Each summer sees a multitude of American travelers visit them as one of their first experiences in the European tour which they begin by landing at Queenstown. After an ocean voyage almost any cultivated land appears attractive. How much more, then, a conspicuously lovely region like that of Southern Ireland! Nor are the Killarney lakes merely beautiful. They have the charm which the Old World imparts to almost every portion of its natural scenery, namely, that of historic association. They are studded with finely wooded islands on which are the ruins of castles, convents and abbeys, around which cluster souvenirs of many centuries. On one island, for example, is Ross Castle, an old fortress of the O’Donoghues; another has the picturesque ruins of the “Sweet Innisfallen” of Tom Moore; while not far from this is Muckross Abbey, built by the Franciscans in 1440. Other abbeys there are in Scotland and England and on the Continent more beautiful than this, but by an American, who has just landed here and to whom this is the first ruin he has seen, it will never be forgotten. The subtle sense of antiquity, which is lacking in his own country, steals insensibly over him, and the accumulated influences of years of reading and anticipation at once assert themselves, and thrill him with the joyful realization that this is but a foretaste of all that now awaits him, outlined before him in a long and beautiful perspective. Yet no matter how much more he may enjoy, the memory of the sentiments awakened in the ivy-mantled walls of Muckross Abbey will abide with him forever as an inspiration. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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