The original name of the city was Calgach which became Doire Columcille with the monastic settlement of St. Columb in 521A.D. from which date the city takes itís origins.
Evidence of this period of history may be seen at the beautiful long tower chapel. The original site of St. Columbs settlement (10 mins walk from the Iona) and Griann Na Alieach (situated in Burt approx. 8 miles away), an impressive ring fort commanding majestic views over the Foyle and Lough Swilly.
In the 1600ís with the defeat of the Earls of Ulster the city became the centre of the plantation and itís impressive walls were built in 1614 to secure the new settlers in the area. Today these walls (despite three sieges) can still be walked around (6 mins from the Iona) and regular guided tours exist. (Tourist Office 6 mins walk from the Iona)
During this period St Columbs Cathedral was built within the walls along with St Augustines church, the oldest still intact in Derry. (6 mins walk from the Iona)
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