If you are looking for a place to explore the ancient and unique culture of the Aran Islands, you might want to visit Dún Crocbhur, also known as Dún Chonchúir or Conor’s Fort. This is the largest stone fort on all three Aran Islands, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the Atlantic Ocean.
Dún Crocbhur is located on Inis Meáin (Inishmaan) , the middle Island. It is a National Monument, and it dates back to the Iron Age or possibly earlier. The fort is oval in shape, measuring 70 metres by 35 metres and up to 7 metres in height. It has a very detailed and intricate design, with two concentric walls made of limestone blocks. The walls have steps and terraces that allow access to the top, where you can admire the scenery and imagine what life was like for the people who built and lived in this fort.
However, there is much mystery surrounding Dún Crocbhur. It is not clear who built it, when it was built, or what it was used for. Some suggest that it was a defensive structure, a ceremonial site, or a residence for a local chieftain. Others speculate that it was named after Conor Mac Nessa, a legendary king of Ulster in Irish mythology. There is also a legend that says that the fort was built by a giant named Croc, who threw stones from his hand to create it.
Whatever the truth may be, Dún Crocbhur is a fascinating place to visit and learn more about the history and culture of the Aran Islands. You can reach it by walking or cycling from the main village of Inis Meáin, or by taking a guided tour. You will need to pay a small fee to enter the fort, which goes towards its preservation and maintenance.
Dún Crocbhur is one of those places that will leave you in awe of the beauty and mystery of Ireland. It is a must-see for anyone who loves history, nature, and adventure.
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