Sneem is known for its brightly colored houses, which were painted in the 1960s to help locals identify their homes in the foggy weather.
The village is located on the Ring of Kerry, a scenic driving route that attracts visitors from all over the world.
The famous Kerry Way walking route passes through Sneem, offering hikers a chance to explore the surrounding countryside.
Sneem is home to the "Sneem Head", a rock formation that looks like the head of a person when viewed from a certain angle.
The village is also home to the Sneem Sculpture Trail, a collection of over a dozen unique sculptures created by local artists.
The Church of the Transfiguration in Sneem was built in the early 1800s and features a stunning stained glass window.
The Old Police Barracks in Sneem was built in 1867 and served as a police station until the 1920s.
Sneem has been named one of Ireland's most beautiful villages, thanks to its charming blend of old-world charm and modern amenities.
The village has a thriving culinary scene, with a range of options to suit every taste and budget.
Sneem is home to a number of annual festivals and events, including the Sneem International Folklore and Storytelling Festival and the Sneem Family Festival.
And a bonus fact - Sneem is an amazingly beautiful drive to the town of Kenmare, where I have my little shop. Seriously, its a beautiful drive ! Check out Blackwater Pier with stunning views and also Blackwater Bridge
Nestled in the heart of County Kerry, Killarney is a charming town surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage have been attracting tourists from all over the world for centuries.
As you explore the town, be sure to take in the magnificent Killarney National Park. Covering over 25,000 acres, the park is home to diverse flora and fauna, as well as some of Ireland's most iconic landscapes and you might just spot a deer or two. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the park's many trails, or take a beautiful boat ride across the serene lakes of Lough Leane and Muckross Lake.
While you're in the area, don't miss the chance to discover the stunning town of Kenmare. This charming place, just a short drive from Killarney, offers cullinary delights, creative crafts, and a chance to feel Kenmares unique artistic vibe.
One of the town's must-visit spots is the jewelry shop of Aidi Mac Dáibhí, located at 30 Henry Street. Aidi is a master jeweler who creates stunning pieces inspired by the beauty of the surrounding landscape. His shop is next door to Foley's Bar & Restaurant
Foley's is a family bar & restaurant run in a prime location in the heart of Kenmare. They offer great value; Kenmare accommodation, traditional Irish pub with live music and an excellent choice of dining options available all day.
Directly opposite Aidi's Irish jewellery shop is The Coachman's Inn which boasts a perfect location on Henry Street, tucked in the midst of bakeries, chocolatiers and old Irish bars. Spend time in the woollen stores, linen shops, art galleries and stylish homeware markets and you're sure to find a treat for yourself or for that someone special.
Whether you're interested in exploring the natural beauty of Killarney or discovering the hidden treasures of Kenmare, this part of Ireland is sure to captivate you. With its welcoming locals, rich cultural heritage, and stunning landscapes, it's no wonder that visitors keep coming back to this part of the world year after year
The wolf (mac tíre in Irish means Son of the Land) has a rich and complex history in Ireland, with both positive and negative associations throughout the ages.
In ancient Irish mythology, wolves were often associated with bravery and loyalty, and were considered to be protectors and guides. In fact, many of the great Irish heroes were said to have been raised by wolves, including the legendary hero Fionn Mac Cumhaill.
The Celts believed that the wolf was a powerful symbol of the moon, and they associated it with transformation, intuition, and the hunt. They also believed that wolves had the ability to communicate with the spirits of the dead, and that they were therefore able to act as intermediaries between the living and the dead. It is my belief that our forefathers understood the wolf much better than in later times.
However, with the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, the wolf began to be seen as a symbol of evil and darkness. The Bible refers to wolves as predators and destroyers, and this negative view of the animal began to permeate Irish society. By the Middle Ages, the wolf had become a symbol of fear and terror, and many people believed that they were agents of the devil.
As a result of this fear, the wolf was hunted to extinction in Ireland. By the 17th century, the last wolf was believed to have been killed, and the animal disappeared from Irish folklore and mythology. However, in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the wolf, and many people are now working to reintroduce the animal to Ireland's wild landscapes.
Overall, the wolf has played a significant role in Irish mythology and history, with its symbolism and associations evolving over time to reflect the changing beliefs and values of Irish society.
The meaning or symbolism of the Wolf of an Irish wolf pendant can vary depending on the the person wearing it, but here are some common meanings associated with wolf pendants:
Strength and power: Wolves are known for their strength and resilience, and a wolf pendant can represent these qualities. It may be worn as a talisman to give the wearer a sense of inner strength and courage.
Loyalty and family: Wolves are social animals that live in packs, and they are known for their fierce loyalty to their family members. A wolf pendant may represent the importance of family and the bond between loved ones.
Spirituality and intuition: In Celtic cultures, wolves are seen as spiritual guides that can help individuals tap into their intuition and inner wisdom. A wolf pendant may be worn as a symbol of this connection to the spiritual realm.
Freedom and independence: Wolves are also associated with freedom and independence, as they are skilled hunters that roam and hunt on their own. A wolf pendant may be worn as a reminder of the importance of individuality and self-reliance.
Protection and guardianship: In ancient Irish culture, wolves were seen as protectors and guardians, and a wolf pendant may be worn as a symbol of this protective energy.
Overall, the symbolism of a wolf pendant can be quite personal and meaningful to the individual wearing it, depending on their own interpretation and cultural background.
In the midst of our snowy, wintery March, the world turns its gaze to a small island nation in the North Atlantic: Ireland. And as the country gears up to celebrate its patron saint on March 17th, it is worth taking a closer look at the man who gave rise to one of the most celebrated and enduring cultural holidays in the world: Saint Patrick.
The life of Saint Patrick, the fifth-century Christian missionary credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, is shrouded in myth and legend. What we know about him comes primarily from two written documents that have survived to this day: Patrick's own autobiographical Confession, and the Annals of Ulster, a medieval Irish chronicle.
According to these sources, Patrick was born in Britain in the late fourth century, and as a young man was captured by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. After six years of servitude, he escaped and fled to Gaul, where he studied to become a priest. Eventually, he returned to Ireland as a missionary, and is said to have baptized thousands of people and established churches throughout the country.
But for all that we know about his life, there is much that remains uncertain. Did he really drive the snakes out of Ireland, as legend has it? Did he really use the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity? And what about the stories of him raising people from the dead and performing other miraculous feats?
As with many historical figures, the line between fact and fiction has become blurred over time. But what is clear is that Saint Patrick's legacy extends far beyond his own time and place, and has come to represent something much larger than the man himself.
For one thing, Saint Patrick is a symbol of Irish identity and culture. The holiday of St. Patrick's Day, which is celebrated in Ireland and around the world with parades, festivals, and the wearing of green, is a testament to the enduring influence of Irish culture on the global stage. And the shamrock, which has become synonymous with the holiday, is a symbol of Ireland's unique blend of Celtic and Christian traditions.
But Saint Patrick is also a symbol of faith and missionary zeal. His efforts to bring Christianity to Ireland were instrumental in the spread of the religion throughout Europe, and his legacy has inspired countless missionaries and evangelists throughout history. And his own faith, which sustained him through years of hardship and persecution, has been an inspiration to generations of Christians.
Perhaps most importantly, Saint Patrick is a symbol of hope and redemption. His own story, of being taken captive and sold into slavery, and then rising to become a powerful force for good in the world, is a testament to the human spirit's ability to overcome adversity and make a positive impact on the world. And his message of love, forgiveness, and the power of Christ's sacrifice to redeem even the most broken of lives, continues to inspire and transform people to this day.
In the end, whether or not the stories of Saint Patrick's miracles are true, his impact on the world is undeniable. He has left an indelible mark on history and culture, and his legacy continues to resonate with people of all faiths and backgrounds. As the world once again celebrates his life and legacy this St. Patrick's Day, let us remember the man behind the myth, and the enduring message of faith, hope, and love that he left behind.
St. Patrick's Day is a highly celebrated holiday in Ireland, and it's important for American tourists to understand the correct pronunciation and spelling of the name. While many Americans incorrectly refer to it as "St. Patty's Day," in Ireland, it is correctly referred to as "St. Paddy's Day."
The reason for this is that "Paddy" is a common nickname for Patrick in Ireland, while "Patty" is a nickname for Patricia. Using the incorrect nickname will be seen as disrespectful and ignorant by Irish people.
Furthermore, the use of "Patty" can also be seen as appropriating and trivializing Irish culture, as it reflects a lack of understanding of the country's history and traditions.
It's worth noting that the correct pronunciation of "Paddy" is not the same as "Patty." The Irish pronunciation of "Paddy" uses a different vowel sound than "Patty," which may be why some Americans pronounce it incorrectly.
Overall, it's important for American tourists visiting Ireland to respect and appreciate the country's culture and traditions, including the proper pronunciation and spelling of St. Patrick's Day. Using the correct name shows great respect for the Irish people and their history, and can enhance the cultural experience of visitors to the Emerald Isle.
As March 19th approaches, it's time to celebrate the most important woman in our lives, our mothers. And for the Irish, Mother's Day holds a special significance as it is a day steeped in tradition and cultural significance.
In Ireland, Mother's Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, which falls on the 14th of March this year. This tradition dates back to the 16th century when people would return to their "Mother Church" on this day, which was the church where they were baptized.
But for Irish families, it's not just about attending church. Mother's Day is a time to honor and appreciate the incredible women who have dedicated their lives to raising their children and keeping their families together.
Irish mothers are known for their warmth, humor, and fierce love for their children. They are the ones who are always there to give a hug, a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on. They are the ones who keep the family traditions alive, from baking soda bread to singing old folk songs.
And on Mother's Day, Irish families come together to show their appreciation for all that their mothers do. This might involve a big family meal, with all the traditional Irish foods like bacon and cabbage, colcannon, and Irish stew. Or it might involve a trip to the local pub, where everyone can raise a glass to their mothers.
But the most important thing is to let your mother know just how much she means to you. Whether it's with a heartfelt card, a bunch of flowers, or a small gift of Irish jewellery (see below), it's the thought that counts. And for Irish mothers, it's the love and appreciation of their children that means the most. That's why I created this symbolic Mother and chlld pendant in gold or silver.
So, as Mother's Day approaches, let's take a moment to honor and celebrate the incredible women who have shaped our lives. Let's show our Irish mothers just how much we love and appreciate them, not just on this special day, but a mothers day gift to be worn every day.
At the crest of a gentle hill in County Kerry, Ireland, a cluster of ancient stones looms over the verdant landscape. Known as the Kenmare Stone Circle, this prehistoric monument is one of the largest and most impressive of its kind in Ireland, attracting visitors from around the world who come to marvel at its size and craftsmanship, and to ponder the mysteries of its purpose.
Constructed during the Bronze Age, around 2200-500 BCE, the Kenmare Stone Circle consists of 15 standing stones arranged in a circle, with a small boulder in the center. Made of local sandstone, some of the stones are over 2 meters tall, and the circle has a diameter of about 17.4 meters. What is perhaps most remarkable about the Kenmare Stone Circle is its orientation towards the winter solstice, suggesting that it was used not only for religious or ceremonial purposes, but also as an astronomical observatory.
The purpose of prehistoric stone circles like the Kenmare Stone Circle remains one of the enduring mysteries of archaeology. Some researchers speculate that they were used for astronomical observation or as calendars, while others believe they were centers of ritual or worship. The Kenmare Stone Circle is part of a larger tradition of megalithic monument construction in Europe, and is one of many stone circles that can be found throughout Ireland.
The Kenmare Stone Circle is not only a monument to Ireland's prehistoric past, but also a testament to the enduring power of folklore and mythology. According to legend, the circle was created by a group of druids who were fleeing from persecution. Using their magic, the druids transported the stones from a distant location to the hilltop where the circle now stands. Today, the Kenmare Stone Circle is protected as a National Monument of Ireland, and continues to inspire wonder and curiosity among those who visit it.
For many visitors, the Kenmare Stone Circle is a place of profound spiritual significance, evoking a sense of connection to Ireland's ancient past and the forces of nature that shaped it. The circle's location on a hill overlooking the town of Kenmare and the surrounding countryside only adds to its mystique, imbuing it with a sense of timelessness and wonder.
As we gaze upon the Kenmare Stone Circle, we are reminded of the enduring power of human ingenuity and creativity, and the deep roots of our connection to the natural world. In a world that often seems driven by technology and progress, the Kenmare Stone Circle stands as a reminder of the enduring importance of our connection to the past, and the mystery and wonder that still surrounds us.
Nestled in the picturesque countryside of Kenmare, a charming town in County Kerry, lies an enigmatic stone bridge that has captured the imagination of visitors for generations. Known as Cromwell's Bridge, this landmark owes its name not to the notorious English military commander Oliver Cromwell, but to the Irish word for mustache, "croimeal". The bridge's unique design, resembling a thick mustache, has been a source of fascination and speculation for many years.
The bridge's origins have long been a topic of debate and conjecture. While it was once believed that the bridge was constructed during the Cromwellian period in the mid-17th century, more recent research has suggested that it was built by local monks during the medieval period to provide access to a nearby holy well. The bridge's soaring single arch, which stands high above the River Finnihy, is a testament to the engineering skills of its builders and a remarkable example of Irish bridge design.
Despite its origins and purpose remaining something of a mystery, Cromwell's Bridge has become a beloved and enduring symbol of Kenmare's rich cultural heritage. It is a popular destination for visitors from around the world, who come to marvel at its impressive architecture and soak up the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside.
For many, Cromwell's Bridge is a symbol of the enduring power of history to shape our understanding of the world around us. Its construction during a time of political and religious upheaval in Ireland serves as a reminder of the country's complex past and the resilience of its people. The bridge's unique design, with its graceful curve and dramatic arch, has become an icon of Irish craftsmanship and ingenuity.
Whether viewed as a relic of local legend or a testament to Irish engineering, Cromwell's Bridge continues to capture the imagination of visitors and locals alike. Its tranquil setting and idyllic surroundings make it a must-see destination for anyone visiting Kenmare, a town steeped in history and natural beauty. As a source of pride for the local community, Cromwell's Bridge stands as a testament to the enduring power of history and the ability of a single structure to capture the imagination of generations to come.
Welcome to Kenmare, County Kerry – a picturesque town nestled in the heart of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way. Known as the "jewel in the crown" of the Ring of Kerry, this charming town has been enchanting visitors for centuries with its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality.
Located at the junction of the Kenmare River and the Iveragh Peninsula, Kenmare offers a perfect blend of lush green landscapes, rugged coastline, and fascinating culture. The town's name comes from the Irish "Ceann Mara," which means "head of the sea" and accurately describes its breathtaking location.
One of the town's most striking features is its colorful buildings, each of which seems to tell a story. From the cheerful pink façade of Crowley's pub to the imposing stone walls of Kenmare Castle, the town's architecture is as varied and unique as its inhabitants. The streets are narrow and winding, with hidden alleys and cozy corners that invite exploration.
Kenmare's main attraction, however, is its natural beauty. The town is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in Ireland, including the MacGillycuddy's Reeks mountain range and the stunning Killarney National Park. Visitors can explore the park's lush forests, crystal-clear lakes, and cascading waterfalls on foot, bike, or horseback, or take a leisurely drive along the Ring of Kerry for panoramic views of the rugged coastline.
But Kenmare is not just about natural beauty; it's also a hub of culture and history. The town is home to a number of fascinating museums, including the Kenmare Lace and Design Centre, which celebrates the town's rich tradition of lace-making, and the Kenmare Heritage Centre, which offers a glimpse into the town's past through exhibits and interactive displays.
Foodies will also be in their element in Kenmare, which has a thriving culinary scene. The town is renowned for its seafood, with freshly caught fish and shellfish featuring prominently on many menus. Visitors can also sample the local cheeses, meats, and artisanal products at the weekly farmer's market or visit one of the many excellent restaurants and cafes dotted throughout the town.
Finally, no visit to Kenmare would be complete without seeing the famous jewellery of Aidi Mac Dáibhi, located at 30 Henry Street. Aidi apprenticed at the famous Kilkenny Design Workshops and his work is inspired by local stories and legends. Also, the town's friendly locals are always eager to welcome visitors - Whether you're sipping a pint of Guinness in a cozy pub or browsing for Kenmare Jewellery, you'll be sure to feel the warmth and charm of this special place.
Kenmare, County Kerry, is a town that has it all – natural beauty, Irish jewelry and history, fabulous food, and warm hospitality. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this enchanting town is sure to captivate you and leave you with unforgettable memories. So why not come and experience the magic of Kenmare for yourself?
In the world of gemstones, there are few that can capture the essence of the ocean quite like Aquamarine. This mesmerizing gemstone boasts a unique blend of blue and green hues that seem to shimmer like the waves themselves. It's no surprise that Aquamarine has been cherished by royalty, celebrities, and gemstone enthusiasts alike for centuries.
The History of Aquamarine
Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family of minerals, which also includes emerald and morganite. Its name comes from the Latin word for "water of the sea," which perfectly describes its cool, refreshing color. Aquamarine has been prized throughout history for its beauty, as well as its supposed healing properties. Ancient Greek and Roman cultures believed that Aquamarine could protect sailors on their voyages and bring them good luck.
Aquamarine has been used in jewelry for centuries, and some of the most famous pieces in history feature this stunning gemstone. The Queen of Portugal's crown is adorned with a massive Aquamarine that weighs over 1,000 carats, and the British Crown Jewels also feature several Aquamarine pieces. Celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana have also been known to don Aquamarine jewelry, further cementing its status as a gemstone fit for royalty.
The Properties of Aquamarine
Aquamarine is a relatively hard gemstone, with a rating of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale. It is typically found in large, clean crystals, which makes it an ideal choice for faceting into gemstones. The color of Aquamarine can vary depending on the location where it was mined, but the most prized stones have a deep blue-green color reminiscent of the ocean. Aquamarine is also known for its transparency, which allows light to pass through the stone and create a sparkling, brilliant effect.
The Benefits of Aquamarine
Aquamarine is believed to have several benefits for those who wear it. In addition to its alleged protective properties for sailors, Aquamarine is said to bring peace and calm to its wearer. It is also believed to promote clear communication and self-expression, making it a popular choice for those in creative fields. Some people even believe that Aquamarine can help to relieve stress and anxiety.
How to Wear Aquamarine
Aquamarine is a versatile gemstone that can be worn in many different styles of jewelry. Rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets all look stunning when adorned with this captivating gemstone. Aquamarine pairs well with white gold or platinum, which highlights the stone's cool, watery tones. For a more modern look, consider pairing Aquamarine with rose gold, which adds a warm, feminine touch to the gemstone.
Aquamarine is a gemstone that captures the essence of the ocean, making it a popular choice for those who love the sea. Its mesmerizing color and stunning brilliance make it a favorite among gemstone enthusiasts, while its supposed healing properties make it a beloved choice for those seeking peace and calm. Whether worn as a statement piece or as a subtle addition to an Irish jewelry collection, Aquamarine is sure to turn heads and leave a lasting impression.