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Unlike the rest of the Abbey buildings, the nunnery on Iona has not been restored since being damaged during the Reformation. The pink granite walls that remain, despite being ruined, are amongst the best examples of a medieval nunnery left in Britain.
Staffa, an entirely volcanic island, is probably best known for its unique geological features such as the many caves and the unique shape of the basalt columns which are also found in the Giant’s Causeway and Rathlin island in Northern Ireland and closer by on the island of Ulva. The island, small as it is with only 33 hectares, was once inhabited in the 1700s by as much as 16 people but nowadays seabirds and tourists have taken over their place.
Felix Mendelson visited Iona and Staffa in the summer of 1829, which resulted in his two best-loved works, the Overture The Hebrides and the Symphony No 3 in A minor (Scottish).
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