Iona Abbey, one of the oldest Christian centres in Western Europe, is on the Isle of Iona, on Scotland west coast. I’ve taken pilgrimage there on three occasions and it’s always fresh and new (even though the place is very old). There buried are several kings and queens of Europe. It is suggested that the original Hamlet is interred in the ancient cemetery grounds.
The monks of Ireland and Scotland in their stay there and travels and missions throughout Europe was a key part of 'how the Irish saved civilization.’ The island was a focal point for the spread of Christianity in Scotland and its preservation throughout Europe. The monastery was founded by Columba and 12 companions also from Ireland, in 563 AD.
The ministry survived the plunder (and martyrdoms) by Vikings and the dissolution measures of Henry VIII, but not so much the ravages of time. Much of the Abbey's buildings felt into ruins.
In 1899 the Duke of Argyll transferred ownership of the Abbey’s remains to the Iona Cathedral Trust which undertook extensive restoration of the Abbey church. In 1938, Rev. George Macleod led the group that rebuilt the abbey, and founded the Iona Community.
Today, the Abbey is the spiritual home of the Iona Community and remains a popular site for Christian pilgrimage.