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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With a Photographic, Virtual Tour of Ireland | Travel

Claddagh Quay

Saint Patrick, the fifth-century bishop remembered every March 17, is known as the “Apostle of Ireland.” In his honor, we’ve collected some of the most beautiful photos of the country submitted to the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest over the years. From Celtic crosses to centuries-old castles, these lush landscapes may motivate you to add Ireland to your travel bucket list, if it wasn’t already there. Take a look.  

Charming residences dot Claddagh Quay across the bay on a beautiful May day.

Pat Trudeau, County Galway, 2017

Celtic (or Irish) crosses

Celtic (or Irish) crosses, which date back to the eighth century, are used to mark graves at this cemetery on the island of Inisheer.

Betty Leung, County Galway, 2023

A signpost

Decisions, decisions. A signpost in Ballyvaughan offers travelers too many choices.

Linda Roy Walls, County Clare, 2012

Horse on the island of Inishmore

They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but this horse on the island of Inishmore wanted to see for itself.

Amy Chen, County Galway, 2017

Cong Abbey

What remains of Cong Abbey, built in the 13th century, is a testament to the builders and is still lovely enough to inspire awe.

Hannah Petty, County Mayo, 2018

A brightly colored door

A brightly colored door accents this neutral-toned, modest stone abode overlooking the sea in Ballinskelligs.

Andrea Gluckman, County Kerry, 2018

a dozen cows graze

More than a dozen cows graze and amble on a hillside under a beautiful sky.

Larry Angier, County Meath, 2019

Buildings along the River Nore

Buildings along the River Nore in Kilkenny are reflected in the calm waters flowing under a bridge.

Matthew Jackson, County Kilkenny, 2015

Trinity College

Founded in 1592, Trinity College Dublin currently enrolls around 20,000 students who get to enjoy lovely architecture, along with books, when visiting the…

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