Knock Shrine, just 20 minutes away from Ireland West Airport Knock, could easily claim to have one of the most interesting histories of any place in Ireland. The small village of Knock was the site of an apparition in 1879, witnessed by 15 ordinary, rural dwellers and, since then, it has grown into one of the most visited sites in Ireland and an international place of pilgrimage and prayer.
Top 10 Things to Do in Knock
- See all of the important points of interest around the 100 acre complex and learn the fascinating history of the Knock Apparition with experienced guides.
- As one of the most sacred places in Ireland, there are daily ceremonies and confessions year round. Check the information boards for details. From April to October, there are daily outdoor processions, and candlelit public ceremonies, attended by thousands.
- Opened in 1976, Knock Basilica is an impressive, architecturally modern church, and it features one of Europe’s largest mosaics (14x14m) behind the altar – an artwork depicting the apparition at Knock.
- The pilgrim’s guide, available from the information centre, outlines the official pilgrim path at Knock Shrine. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world come to Knock each year in search of peace, healing and spiritual renewal.
- The distinctive Apparition Chapel is a triangular, mainly glass structure, housing a large sculptural depiction of the apparition scene. The sculptures were crafted by the famous Italian artist, Lorenzo Ferri.
- The award-winning Knock Museum tells the compelling story of the apparition and profiles the 15 official witnesses. It also gives a good insight into life in rural Ireland in the 19th century. Guided tours are available.
- The subterranean Reconciliation Chapel is a dimly lit, peaceful place for prayer and reflection, with confessions available year round.
- The historic Parish Church boasts a beautiful stained glass window by Ireland’s famous stained glass artist, Harry Clarke.
- Most of the 15 official witnesses of the apparition are buried at the cemetery on the edge of Knock Shrine. Their graves are signposted so people can visit the last resting place of these ordinary, humble, villagers who witnessed something truly extraordinary.
- The towering Papal Cross in the centre of Knock Shrine marks the spot where St John Paul II celebrated Mass in front of a reported 450,000 people during his pilgrimage to Knock in 1979. The Pontiff famously described Knock as “the goal of my journey to Ireland”.