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Eilean Donan (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Donnain) is a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. It lies about 1 km from the village of Dornie, and is dominated by a picturesque castle which is familiar from many photographs and appearances in film and television. Eilean Donan is part of the Kintail National Scenic Area, one of 40 in Scotland.
Eilean Donan (which means simply /island of Donnán/) is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in 617. Donnán is said to have established a church on the island, though no trace of this remains. The castle was founded in the 13th century, and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan Macrae. In the early 18th century the Mackenzies were involved in the Jacobite rebellions, which led to the destruction of the castle by government ships in 1719. The present buildings are the result of twentieth-century reconstruction of the ruins by Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap.
The castle is regularly described as one of the most photographed monuments in Scotland, and is a recognised Scottish icon, frequently appearing on packaging and advertising for shortbread, whisky and other products. Eilean Donan has made several appearances in films, beginning with Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1948 and The Master of Ballantrae in 1953. It featured prominently in Highlander (1986), and in 1999 served as home of Sean Connery in Entrapment as well as the Scottish headquarters of MI6 in The World Is Not Enough. In Elizabeth: The Golden Age Eilean Donan stood in for Fotheringhay Castle in England.
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