Iona, Scotland, an island that was an early center of Christianity. Iona is one of the Inner Hebrides, and has an area of about 3.5 square miles (9 km2). In 563 Saint Columba came here from Ireland and founded a monastery. Iona missionaries served Scotland and northern England. The island became a center of Celtic Christianity at a time when the Irish Christians were cut off from the rest of Christendom. Norsemen destroyed the monastery in the ninth century, but it was rebuilt and it continued until the Reformation. After World War II the Church of Scotland restored Iona as a religious center. The island is owned by the Scottish National Trust.