Iona ( Scottish Gaelic: Ì Chaluim Chille, formerly Ì, also Anglicized Icolmkill and Hy) is an island of the Inner Hebrides in Scotland. Iona was formed for centuries the spiritual center of Scotland.


Iona lies approximately 1.6 kilometers west of the larger island of Mull and is 8.8 km ². The highest point is 101 meters high Dùn Ì. Around 125 people lived on the island in 2001, most in the capital Baile Mór.


The colonization of the island of Iona can be traced back to the Stone Age and Bronze Age. The oldest surviving historical evidence is the small, 3,000 year old grave hills Blar Buidhe, in addition to Baile Mòr. There is an Iron Age hillfort, on Dùn Bhuirg on the west side of the island. The hill Dùn I near the abbey has no traces of mounting. Whether Dùn Bhuirg was still occupied, came as Columban, is unknown, but it is unlikely that he found the island empty.

In the year 563 Columba came with twelve men from Ireland to Iona, where he founded the monastery of Iona Abbey. From Iona Christianity spread in the form of the so-called Celtic church in Scotland and Northern England. Presumably, the Book of Kells, which is regarded as one of the most precious books, written in Iona in the 7th or 8th century. Iona was the intellectual center of the Celtic Church, its adherents were the Culdeer.

Iona was for several centuries as the " Holy Place ". Scots- Irish and Norwegian kings to be buried in the cemetery Reilig Odhráin. So was Iona burial place of the kings of Dalriada and its successor, the early Kings of Scotland. The last of these was known from Shakespeare's play of that name Macbeth. Numerous crosses originated at this time on Iona. Many were thrown later by Puritan groups into the sea. The St. John's cross from the 8th and the St. Martin's Cross from the 9th century still exist, to some fragments.

In the 19th century was mined at Iona green marble. The quarry is still present today. Theodor Fontane visited the island in 1858. He described the island and its history in his book Beyond the Tweed.

In 1938, George MacLeod says (later Rt Rev. Lord MacLeod of Fuinary ), pastor of the Church of Scotland in Govan (Glasgow ) on Iona Iona Community, a Christian community the mission and social work. The aim of the work of this community is to " find new ways to reach the hearts of all ." The Community does so mainly through youth work, new songs, worship and service modules as well as commitment to justice and peace.

The former chairman of the Labour Party, John Smith (1938-1994), was buried with a special permit to Reilig Odhráin.


From Fionnphort on Mull there is a ferry in about ten minutes after Iona. In Iona, the use of motor vehicles is permitted only locals.


Iona was one of the preferred landscapes of the Scottish painter Francis Cadell, which occupies a central role in his landscapes after 1912.

A Scottish progressive rock band called Iona. In their music they refer to the island and its past, including a concept album about the Book of Kells.


Cloister of the Iona Abbey

Road from the Abbey to the nunnery

Ruins of the Iona Nunnery