The Lost City Story

Standing Proudly At The Centre Of The Wild Atlantic Way in Co. Clare Are The Majestic Cliffs Of Moher.

The ancient history of the Cliffs began with the first sighting of man and stretches back almost 2000 years. This is a history that should be explored with a visit to the Cliffs that includes a walk through their spacious world class visitor centre which brings into perspective all the aspects of nature, geology, and history of this truly magical place. It’s no surprise that the Cliffs of Moher are considered one of the natural wonders of the world!

On a clear day as you stand upon the Cliffs, if you look south towards Spanish Point, you might be lucky enough to see an area of disturbed water. This marks the exact location of the ancient mythical city of Kilstiffen. Legend has it that the city sank when its chieftain lost a golden key in the heat of a fierce battle – a key which opened the door to an ancient church located within the castle walls. In losing the key, the chieftain condemned his kingdom to its underwater fate.

The story also tells us that the city will not be restored to its former glory until the key is recovered from its unknown location – some say it lies under the ogham-inscribed gravestone on Slieve Callan, east of Milltown Malbay, while others say that it was thrown into the lake located on the top of that mountain. The truth is that no one knows for sure.

Locals say that the city, with its golden-roofed palaces, churches, and towers, may at times, be seen shining far below the surface when the sea conditions and water are calm. In fact, folklore has it that once every seven years the lost city rises from the watery depths of the Atlantic Ocean, above the crashing waves and for an instant, it is restored to its magnificent self, before plunging back down to its watery depths. This would be a beautiful sight to witness, but be aware that it is said that those who catch a glimpse of this ancient city of Kilstiffen are doomed to die within seven years, before the city rises again.