Lough Derg Visitor Centre
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Main Street, Pettigo, Donegal, Republic of Ireland
The Lough Derg Heritage Centre, is on the shores of Lough Derg in County Donegal. It encourages the visitor to explore the Celtic origins of Saint Patrick's Purgatory.
The Lough Derg Heritage Centre, on the shores of Lough Derg in County Donegal, encourages the visitor to explore the Celtic origins of Saint Patrick's Purgatory.
What is known of the early history of Lough Derg comes mainly from the 12th century. It appears that while Patrick was in the area he became aware of a cave in which he spent time and had a vision of the afterlife. It was this vision that gave the Island its name Purgatorium Sancti Patricii.
This archaic sanctuary which so fascinated the medieval world and drew it's penitents and pilgrims from every corner of the world, is recreated in the exhibits and presentations on display.
Lough Derg has inspired poets throughout the ages and extracts of these poems are used as an alternative to the traditional story boards.
A visit to the centre can be combined with a boat trip to the Island where a guide will give you an insight to this unique Island's rich history and its connection to our Celtic and Christian heritage. Mass can also be celebrated with the group's own priest in either the Basilica, St Mary's Chapel or in the small lake shore Chapel, St Brigid's. This tour will enable the visitor to experience the tranquillity of the site which attracts 30,000 pilgrims annually.