An island off the shores of Scotland.

Iona became one of the last bastions of Druidism, as Druids retreated there beginning with the invasion by the Romans.

Columba (saint) eventually went over, set up a monastery (Not a conventional monastery. Monks could be married.) and began to convert the masses of Iona.

Iona is chiefly a tourist destination now, with many Christian sites and the remains of Druidic Cairns.

Webster has this to say about it,
Pronunciation: I-'O-n&
Usage: geographical name
Island near Scotland in S Inner Hebrides off SW tip of Mull Island area 6 square miles (16 square kilometers), population 120.

IONA is also the name of an Irish technology company specialising in producing and implementing advanced e-business software for companies to assist interaction between various distributed systems.

Starting in 1983 with research in Trinity College Dublin, its founders incorporated the campus company IONA Technologies in 1991. It initially received funding from the EU, the Irish Government, and Sun Microsystems. Soon the company left Trinity College and began expanding, opening US headquarters in Boston. In 1997, IONA held an IPO and is now listed on the NASDAQ technology index(IONA). It now employs over 750 people worldwide, with an annual turnover of more than $100m.

Products include IONA Orbix, IONA iPortal Application Server, and IONA B2B Integrator.

Information adapted from

As was described by Cyrus, Iona is an island off the the west coastline of Scotland.

It is largely reachable only by ferry from off the Isle of Mull. This ferry is on the far side of Mull at Fionnphort and is reachable only by way of the sole single track road on the island. While you can ferry your car over to the Isle of Mull and drive to Fionnphort, it is highly reccomended (By locals and this author...) that you skip that, and use the publicly available tour bus that makes regular scheduled runs to and from the two ferry ports on the island.

The Druid Cairns are an attraction, but a large part of the tourist activity appears (At least to what I've seen...) to center around the Abbey (Columba had originally established a monastery on the island, and sometime around 1200, it was transformed into a Benedictine Abbey) and the ruins associated with it. At some point in its history, Iona became a burial place for royalty- with some 48 Scottish, 8 Norwegian, and 4 Irish Kings having been buried there by the middle 1500's. The Cathedral at the Abbey still hosts an active congregation with regular services held.

Up until 2002, the Abbey was maintained by the Trustees of the Cathedral, an organization with ties to the Church of Scotland- a role that has been in place since the Duke of Argyll transferred the ownership of the Abbey to them in 1899. In 2002, the Trustees determined that maintenance of the Abbey was getting increasingly difficult financially, so they transferred ownership to Historic Scotland, who maintains many of the castles and abbeys in Scotland in the public trust.

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