Burren, Kilfenora, Co Clare
The Burren, from the Gaelic word “An Bhoireann” is an area close to 125 square miles of limestone rock covering imposing majestic mountains and tranquil valleys with gently meandering streams. This is a geologically distinctive landscape on the Western seaboard of Ireland and has been inhabited for over six thousand years.
With its innate sense of spiritual peace, extraordinary array of flora and wildlife, and megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt’s pyramids, the Burren creates a tapestry of colour and a seductively magical aura which few people leave without wanting to experience again.
In the picturesque village of Kilfenora, The Burren Centre gives the visitor an introduction to the visual delights and ancient mysteries which await to be discovered in this unspoiled corner of Ireland.
This walk through time will take you back through the aeons to a time when this area lay beneath a warm tropical sea.
The Burren Landscape
The Burren landscape was formed from an accumulation of fish bones and sea shells when the sea covered this area many million years ago.
Geologists are offered the endless fascinations of underground rivers, caves, depressions, plateaus, turloughs and conic shaped limestone formations. Archaeologists and historians are enthralled by the wealth of remains from ancient civilizations since the Stone Age.
Botanists from all over the world have failed to answer why flowers not native to the region grow in such profusion, requiring as they do very different climates, why indeed they can grow in such a seemingly bleak and bare terrain.
If you want to see the flowers travelling through the Burren by car is not the answer you must use the pre Christian Green Roads and Walking Trails.
- There are over 600 different flowering plants recorded in the Burren
- Half of the total Irish flora is represented in the Burren region
A rich variety of plants entices many international botanists and the plant lover to search amongst the cracks and crevices of the rock.
Unusual butterflies and moths feed on the unique flora and the hazel scrub and pine forests give cover to the larger animals including the Pine Marten. The magnificent kaleidoscope of colours turn the grey landscape into a fabulous natural rock garden which can be enjoyed even by those whose knowledge of botany is very limited.
A visit to The Burren Centre is a must to study the complex environment which allows for a variety of plants and flowers that flourish in disparate climatic zones to co exist in the one place. to share the same rock crevice. The fascinating exhibition and audio visual display explains in layman’s language the complexities and contradictions of the area.