When our driver pulled into the charming village of Cong, which is in Co Mayo of Ireland, I felt a slight breath of excitement. It felt familiar to me, not that I have been here before in this lifetime, nor had I seen ‘The Quiet Man’ before my visit. There was a classic storybook feel to this village; the double story connected buildings, the window boxes filled with flowers and the bubbling streams that flow around Cong.
After I had visited Cong, I decided to watch ‘The Quiet Man’, staring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. I enjoyed the movie very much, as I am a fan of classic cinema. It surprised me that I had never seen it, although I had heard of it.
Actress Maureen O’Hara did mention “Of all my films, ‘The Quiet Man’ is my favorite and John Wayne, who became a dear friend, was my favorite leading man.
“Over here we pronounce it Coe-Han” – The Quiet Man movie
In the film, I saw many of the buildings and landmarks that I had photographed and walked by. Not much has changed since the filming of that Oscar-Award winning movie from 1952. This little village did not go all Hollywood after the filming, although Cong is a tourist attraction due to the movie, and there is a Quiet Man Museum in town.
The village of Cong is an actual island and is surrounded by a number of streams. It is also known for its underground stream system , which connects Lough Corrib with Lough Mask to the north. From the edges of the village, you will find yourself surrounded by peaceful streams, old stone walls and seasonal foliage.
A visit to Cong, also means a visit to the Abbey Ruins. Cong Abbey which is also known as the Royal Abby of Cong, is an important historical site in Ireland. Parts of these ruins of the former Augustinian abbey date back to the 13th century.
Cong Abbey has been described as featuring some of the best examples of medieval ecclesiastical and early gothic architecture in Ireland.
The village of Cong is worth the visit, even if you are not familiar with ‘The Quiet Man’. This small town in Ireland is the quintessential Irish village with plenty of charm and history. I found it worth the visit, just to walk around and feel the atmosphere of familiarity. To this day, I am not sure why it felt familiar. I may have to take another trip to Cong, just to find out.
No one ever wishes they traveled less…
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