TOBAR ÉANNA

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Tobar Éanna, or St. Enda’s Well as it’s also known, can be found in Barna Woods near Galway City. This holy well is dedicated to St. Enda, the patron saint of the Aran Islands, who is said to have rested here on his way to and from his monastic settlement on Inis Mór.

St. Enda was a warrior prince who converted to Christianity in the 5th century and became one of the founders of Irish monasticism. He established a community of monks on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands, where he taught and lived a life of prayer and austerity. He also travelled frequently to the mainland to preach and visit other holy sites.

One of these sites was Tobar Éanna, where tradition has it that a well sprang up as he prayed. St. Enda blessed the well and it was through his great faith that the well water contained healing powers. It was believed that the water had beneficial effects for those suffering from eye and ear ailments. Hence the well was then named after St. Enda.

Since then, pilgrimages took place to the well, especially on the last Sunday of July, which was known as Domhnach Chrom Dubh or Crom Dubh Sunday. Crom Dubh was a pagan god associated with fertility and harvest, who was later Christianized as a saint. Pilgrims would perform rituals such as walking around the well three times, reciting prayers, drinking or washing with the water, and leaving offerings such as coins, pins, rags, or flowers.

The well is located in a secluded spot in Barna Woods, surrounded by trees and bushes. It is marked by a stone cross and a plaque with an inscription in Irish and English. The well itself is a small pool of water with a stone basin and a metal cup for drinking. The water is clear and cold, and some pilgrims still claim to experience its healing effects.

Tobar Éanna is a place of historical, cultural, and religious interest that offers a glimpse into the rich heritage of Galway. It is also a place of peace and tranquility that invites visitors to reflect and connect with nature and the divine. If you are looking for a unique and meaningful experience in Galway, you might want to visit Tobar Éanna and discover its secrets for yourself.

LOCATION

53.259306, -9.133058

Tobar Éanna

GALLERY

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