Dun Aengus fort

Le fort Dun Aengus - © David Matthew Lyons
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Adresse Location:
Inishmore, (County Galway)

Dun Aengus (Dún Aonghasa in Irish Gaelic) is one of the largest prehistoric forts ever discovered in Ireland… and one of the best preserved in Europe! Impressive, it was built on the island of Inishmore (in the Aran Islands), right on the cliff, and is one of the most beautiful remains of the country…

Every year, it attracts thousands of visitors who come to touch its stones and admire its breathtaking view of the ocean… A magical place, carrying an indescribable atmosphere!

Visit Dun Aengus

A prehistoric fort next to a vertiginous cliff!

Le fort Dun Aengus - © David Matthew Lyons

Le fort Dun Aengus – © David Matthew Lyons

Do you like enigmatic sites, full of history and legends? We welcome you to the site of Dun Aengus, a prehistoric fort which dates back to the Bronze Age… and which is said to be the largest fort on the Aran Islands!

According to the specialists, this last one would have been built around 1100 B.C., on the basis of a semi-circular architecture. A rather unusual choice, most of the Irish prehistoric forts being circular…

Many theories revolve around this architecture… but the simplest explanation would be to say that the builders of the fort preferred to use the semi-circle, the cliff constituting a natural rampart to any attack…

Structure of the fort

The site is located at 87 meters high, on vertiginous cliffs, and deploys impressive dimensions.

Thus, the fort is divided into 4 distinct dry-stone enclosures, some of whose walls are up to 4 meters high. The outermost wall surrounds an area of 6 hectares: unheard of for a prehistoric fort!

Outside the third ring of walls, there is a defensive system of stone slabs, known as “cheval de frise”. This is planted in a vertical position in the ground and still largely preserved. These ruins also contain a huge rectangular stone slab, the function of which is unknown today.

Of course, part of the construction unfortunately collapsed 80 meters below (in the middle of the ocean) due to violent storms and shaky foundations. But many remains of the fort still remain on the cliff.

For archaeologists, the fort of Dun Aengus had many functions: its clear view of the sea (over a distance of 120km of coastline), made it an ideal defensive place… But other installations also suggest that the fort was used for ceremonial purposes by possible druids.

Visit Dun Aengus fort

Dun Aengus © timursalikhov

Dun Aengus © timursalikhov

Attention: all the beauty of the fort is due to its preserved character, and to its situation on the cliff.

This makes it a beautiful place, but also extremely dangerous, which will place you at the top of an 87 meters high cliff, without any protective barrier, nor any facilities to ensure your safety.

The wind blows hard on Inishmore, and the building has no shelter to protect itself. Also, fatal accidents have already been reported (selfies, gusts of wind, inattention…etc.): we therefore recommend you to avoid going too close to the edge, and especially, to keep your children close to you!

Anyway, the visit is really worth it. You will start the discovery by a short passage in the Visitor Centre, which will propose you a quick exhibition, explaining you the history of Dun Aengus, its characteristics, and the archaeological discoveries which resulted from it.

Then follows a short walk of 15 minutes, which will lead you to this incredible cliff and its famous fort. From then on, the view is breathtaking (beware of vertigo). The fort seems to stretch on incredible dimensions.

To explore it, you will have to climb over the stones to cross the enclosures. (The site is unfortunately incompatible for people with reduced mobility). Be careful not to damage the stones.

As you progress, you will discover the beauty of the view: the fort overlooks the ocean, but also a part of the island of Inishmore, on its western side. The view on the nearby cliffs is simply magnificent.

Don’t forget to bring a warm sweater and a raincoat: it can be particularly cold at the top of the cliffs: the ocean and the wind blow non-stop!

Dun Aengus fort
Practical information

Address Address:
take the ferry to Rossaveal harbour. The site is located on the south coast of Inishmore.

Coordonnées GPSGPS:
53.125550, -9.766848

Duration of the visit Duration of the visit:
45 minutes
PricesPrices :

4€ per adult | 3€ per senior | 2€ per child | 10€ per family

Opening hoursOpening hours:


Dun Aengus fort : the map

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