Iona is a small island in the Inner Hebrides, off the Ross of Mull on the western coast of Scotland. It is mainly known for Iona Abbey, though there are other buildings on the island. Iona Abbey was a centre of Gaelic monasticism for three centuries and is today known for its relative tranquility and natural environment. It is a tourist destination and a place for spiritual retreats. Its modern Scottish Gaelic name means "Iona of Columba".
In 2019, the island’s estimated population was 120. Residents engage in farming, using traditional methods. Other occupations include crofting and tourism-related work; some craftsmen make goods for sale locally, such as pottery, tapestries, jewelry and knitted goods. In March 1980, the Hugh Fraser Foundation donated much of the main island to the current owner, the National Trust for Scotland. The abbey and some church buildings are owned by the Iona Cathedral Trust.
One publication, describing the religious significance of the island, says that the island is "known as the birthplace of Celtic Christianity in Scotland, ” and notes that “St Columba came here in the year 563 to establish the Abbey, which still stands".
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