Ireland

Unlike St. Patrick, St. Brigid was actually born in Ireland.

Meet St. Brigid, Ireland's Only Woman Patron Saint

The fifth-century abbess is stepping out of the shadow of the better-known St. Patrick

Medieval manuscripts featuring stories about King Arthur and Camelot

Art Meets Science

How Much Medieval Literature Has Been Lost Over the Centuries?

A new analysis suggests that just 9 percent of manuscripts produced in Europe during the Middle Ages survive today

New research suggests Celtic people—and their sheep—arrived on the Faroe Islands more than 300 years before the Vikings.

Ancient Sheep Poop Tells the Tale of the Faroe Islands' First Inhabitants

New analysis suggests the Celts arrived on the archipelago hundreds of years before the Vikings

A medieval composite pen made out of animal bone and a copper alloy was found in an 11th-century settlement in Ireland. The tool's secular setting is a rare find, as literacy in Ireland was generally associated with the church.

Cool Finds

Medieval Ink Pen Testifies to the Rise of Secular Literacy in Ireland

The 11th-century tool may have been used to record family lineages and trade agreements

A plaster cast of a "ghost turnip" carving from Donegal, Ireland

When People Carved Turnips Instead of Pumpkins for Halloween

Revelers in Ireland transformed the root vegetables into lanterns designed to ward off dark spirits

In Paul Henry’s own words, he hoped to capture “the very soul of Ireland” in his paintings.

Cool Finds

Rare Impressionist Landscapes Found in Storage Unit Could Sell for $60,000

Created by artist Paul Henry, the oil paintings depict the Irish countryside

The Iron Age sculpture is one of only a dozen of its kind found in Ireland to date.

Cool Finds

Eight-Foot-Tall, 1,600-Year-Old Statue of Pagan Deity Found in Ireland

The well-preserved wooden sculpture may have been part of a ritual site where animal sacrifices were carried out

Procession marking the opening of the Belfast-based Ulster parliament in June 1921

One Hundred Years Ago, Northern Ireland's 'Unholy War' Resulted in a Deadly Summer

In July 1921, an outburst of sectarian violence in Belfast claimed 16 lives on the eve of a truce between Great Britain and Ireland

Two female sheep named Dilly and Dolly, as well as two unnamed lambs, helped with the project.

Grazing Goats and Sheep Help Uncover Historic Headstones in Ireland

The herbivores snacked on plant overgrowth at an 18th-century graveyard in Cork County, revealing long-hidden burial markers

The Irish elk, or Megaloceros giganteus, ranged across northern Eurasia from Siberia to Ireland and shed its giant antlers every year. It is on display in the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils—Deep Time at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Beyond Dinosaurs: The Secrets of Earth's Past

Biggest. Antlers. Ever. Meet the Irish Elk

On view at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, this specimen of the extinct species unlocks an evolutionary mystery

Bronze Age wedge tombs like the one pictured here are found throughout southwest Ireland. But the newly discovered burial “seems to be different,” archaeologist Mícheál Ó Coileáin tells the Irish Times. “Wedge tombs are usually visible above ground, [but] this one is completely concealed.”

Cool Finds

Irish Farmer Stumbles Onto 'Untouched' Ancient Tomb

Archaeologists think the well-preserved burial dates to the Bronze Age—or perhaps even earlier

The juvenile walrus spent two days resting in Pembrokeshire, Wales before returning to sea.

How Did This Walrus Get to Wales?

The same walrus might have stopped briefly in Denmark and Ireland

Violet Gibson, a 50-year-old Irish woman, attempted to assassinate Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1926.

The Little-Known Story of Violet Gibson, the Irish Woman Who Shot Mussolini

A free radio documentary tells the tale of the long-overlooked individual who nearly killed the Italian dictator in 1926

The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington is hosting a photography exhibit, PHotoEspaña, posted on the fence surrounding its historic mansion.

Virtual Travel

Their Doors May Be Closed, but Embassies Are Still Showing People the World

From cooking demonstrations to poetry readings to special exhibitions, exploring another country has never been easier

An 1843 aquatint by Jean-Pierre-Marie Jazet, after a painting by Carl von Steuben, depicts Napoleon Bonaparte in his final moments.

Rare Doctor's Note Offers Glimpse Into Napoleon's Agonized Final Years

The 1818 missive, which describes the French statesman's failing health, recently sold at auction for $2,000

The photographs document daily life starting in the late 1920s. For additional information on the archive, contact collections@derrystrabane.com.

See Northern Ireland Through the Lens of a Pioneering Woman Archaeologist

Newly digitized photographs by educator and historian Mabel Remington Colhoun cover the 1920s through the 1980s

This month's book picks include A Demon-Haunted Land, South to Freedom and The Light Ages.

Books of the Month

The Heiress Who Stole a Vermeer, Witchcraft in Post-WWII Germany and Other New Books to Read

These five November releases may have been lost in the news cycle

The Book of Lismore consists of 198 large vellum folios.

Medieval Manuscript Returns to Ireland After Hundreds of Years in British Hands

The 15th-century Book of Lismore features the only surviving Irish translation of Marco Polo's travels, among other historical texts

A Lidl grocery store in Ireland is pictured here in 2019. The German grocery chain's new Dublin location features a surprising archaeological display.

Cool Finds

Shoppers at Dublin Grocery Store Glimpse Viking History Beneath Their Feet

A new Lidl boasts plexiglass windows that reveal archaeological wonders, including an 11th-century house and 18th-century staircase

Archaeologists unearthed shards of pottery, wine jugs, floor tiles and traces of crops, among other artifacts.

Cool Finds

Sourdough Bread Oven, 'Air Freshener' Found at Medieval Irish Monastery

During the 13th century, French monks created a Cistercian community at Beamore in County Meath

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