Cong Ireland film!
A curious name for this small town in County Mayo, close to the most famous Connemara: Cong. Well, apart from the name, it is a great choice to stop and eat. Mainly because it is the main setting for John Ford’s mythical film “The Quiet Man.” Also because its typical streets are very pleasant. And because it has an abbey -with forest included- the mar de Chula! Will you accompany me 🙂
Cong and the movie The Quiet Man by John Ford
Let’s start with the movie. It is a myth in the US . The television networks replace it over and over again, and I suppose I don’t have to tell you about the ties that link this small island with half of the American continent. “Thanks to” the Great Famine that forced that massive emigration to the New Continent.
County Mayo was one of the hardest hit in that terrible chapter in history, to the point that a popular chorus has remained in the memory “County Mayo, Mayo, God help us!” (“County Mayo, God help us!”).
Ford made a film of manners, searching and recalling his own origins (or so they say). In it all the topics about rural Ireland come together.
And for this people, it is a pride and an indelible memory. Many of the extras were recruited from the locals, and both exteriors and interiors were shot there.
There are other locations, such as the bridge from where the protagonist stops the car and contemplates his town, which is not right there, but in essence it is Cong and no other the place where most of the film takes place.
In the summer of 2012 the film turned 60 and a festival was going to be held just a few days after we passed by. Almost better not to have coincided because I suppose that prices would skyrocket and it would be full of buses and people.
In Cong there are guides that take you through the scenes of The Quiet Man
Walking there we met a couple and the one who seemed to be their guide.
Obviously they were doing the tour of the scenes of The Quiet Man , and in fact at one point they staged the fight by the river. I think someone ends up falling into the water, but it’s in the movie, of course. So if you are a big fan, do not hesitate to make that visit because surely they will tell you many anecdotes and stories about it.
Cong is located between two lakes, Corrib and Mark, and is easily covered in a short walk
When we arrived it was half raining. After asking about a couple of places around town (most are houses a bit secluded), we found a hotel next to the gas station where they did have rooms. Luckily we arrived at that time, because a while later the bar-restaurant and the reception were filled with people dressed as for a wedding. Especially many boys and girls of about 18-20 years absolutely decked out. What was happening?
The election of Miss Cong was celebrated !! Take it now. Exactly the same as in American movies. And they bow tie them with elaborate bows and necklines word of honor . And a heavy man with the microphone who made us fear for our dream. In the end there was a party until late but we were so tired that we ended up sleeping.
The old Abbey of Cong
After leaving the bags in the room, we went for a walk and soon found the old abbey.
It was open so we went in to browse a bit, although the next day we would return. The entrance is free and in fact we did not see any control on it, neither that afternoon nor the next day.
It is an Augustinian abbey from the s. XII. It is quite in ruins but what is preserved is really beautiful. Part of the façade and the cloister, some of the main door, a tower that can be climbed. One of those places in Ireland so romantic, so historic, so, so … I love them!
A curious fact: the community met in the chapter house to publicly confess their sins . Ugh, how hard isn’t it?
The most interesting thing starts right from there, as a path that starts from the cloister takes you directly to the river between huge trees with trunks full of moss and ivy.
In the river there is a beautiful bridge and next to it the fishing house of the monks , from the s. XVI.
The forests of Cong
And crossing that bridge, suddenly the forest becomes much more closed and you find yourself wrapped in that special atmosphere of the primeval forests. Those where the sunlight almost does not reach the ground, the mysterious clicks happen around you, and you think of the fear and calamities the first men who decided to settle here would go through.
I read that the populations of this region were formed little by little, from nomadic groups , in a land that was covered with forests like these in all its extension.
After walking around here as long as you want, taking a walk through the streets of Cong is a delight.
Some bars weren’t at the time of the film, but this one, the Pat Cohan, which was then the hardware store, was used as the setting for the bar. Over time I end up being. So that later they say that the cinema does not influence our lives 🙂
Many houses in Cong are “beautifully” painted, aware that they are photographed many times.
And nowhere you go a bit out of town, which is easy to do, the Irish countryside awaits you in all its glory. More if you are lucky and it is sunny!
I said, Cong is a good place to savor the typical Irish , if it is not too far on your way through Ireland.