The medieval settlements of Glendalough in Ireland


The city of Dublin is surely the first option to choose when one is in Ireland, but how many of you think of visiting the Irish countryside?

To the south of Dublin lies the Wicklow Mountains and its never-ending green pastures. There are also many historical sites in this area, one of which roused my interest. In the pretty village of Glendalough, there are ruins of medieval stone churches and graveyards. They date back to the seventh century and are marked as the earliest days of Christianity in Ireland.

The medieval graveyard in Glendalough, Wicklow

This graveyard and the monastic settlements around it have the utmost religious value in Irish culture and pilgrimages are conducted to this day. 

Some important sites to look at are the St. Kevin's Cross, the Cowley Celtic Cross, the Cullen Stones, and the oldest graves.  Some date back to the early 11th century.

The ruins of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul that was destroyed by English forces

The monastery was founded by St. Kevin, whose medieval life is reflected all over this historic place. St Kevin's Cross, where he was buried, is a place where people go to make a wish. 

I spent some time knowing more about the stories that are linked to this medieval monastery and the latter half of my time here was dedicated to this building on the right. A local who was nearby told me that this cottage was nicknamed St. Kevin's Kitchen because of the chimney. It is actually a church! It looked quite interesting to me, but there was not much information to lead me further.

St. Kevin's Church located on the monastery grounds

A tall, round tower situated at the other end of the monastery grounds is less likely to miss. It is almost 30 meters tall and has an interesting construction. 

The entrance to this building is quite small though, and is way out of our reach! It is located around 3.5 meters above the ground, so it is less likely to reach all the way up there. This building seems to be an impressive hideout place though, in the early days.

The round tower located on the monastery grounds

The whole landscape is so serene that people who like solitude (like me!) would definitely love to spend more time here.  I had to leave early and less content, with the hope that I would visit Glendalough again soon.

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