Ireland has been one of my favorite countries to visit due to its lush green landscapes, and natural beauty that I have been back several times over. One of my favorite locations is Glendalough, meaning “two lakes”, and is located on the east coast within County Wicklow. The landscapes are awe-inspiring with trails to take, places to picnic, and streams to cross.
Next to the Lower Lake in Glendalough there is a monastic site, which is one of the most important Ireland. It was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century as an early Christian monastic settlement. Then eventually it developed into the ‘Monastic City’.
The Monastic City contains several important remains including the Round Tower, St. Kevin’s Kitchen (church), St. Mary’s, the Priest’s house, and the granite arched gateway. The Round Tower, which stands 30m high was an impressive focal point of these monastic remains.
The granite arch gateway is one of the important monuments in the monastic city, as well as being unique to all of Ireland. This entryway was originally two stories having two granite arches, with suggestions of projecting walls and a timber roof. There is little left of the stone paving on the ground, although you will see more preserved areas within the monastic city.
St. Kevin’s Kitchen (Church) in not an actual kitchen, but a small stoned church. It was commonly known as St. Kevin’s kitchen because the bell tower resembled a kitchen chimney, although food was never prepared here. My favorite features of this church were the steep stone roof, and the round chimney, which to me mirrored the Round House.
The remains of St. Peter and St. Pauls’ Cathedral was the most imposing, and largest building at Glendalough. There were several constructions phases of this cathedral, including the chancel and sacristy dating back from the late 12th and early 13th centuries.
Be sure to take notice of the cemetery, which I found very intriguing. The graveyard is one of the most important in Ireland, with its origins dating back to the seventh century. Those were the the early days of Irish Christian monasticisim when the monastery was founded by Saint Kevin.
Enjoy your visit to enchanting Glendalough and the monastic city!
For more information, please visit- Glendalough, Ireland
Wherever you go, whatever you do- may the luck of the Irish always be with you…– Irish Saying
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