County Wicklow, Ireland

Glendalough Monastic Site, County Wicklow, Ireland

One of the most important and spread out Monastic sites of the east of Ireland, Glendalough is built amongst the dramatic hills of the Wicklow Mountains around two lakes (Upper and Lower).

The site was founded by St. Kevin who arrived in the 6th Century and started living here in a tree. Others soon followed and by the time the round tower was built in the 10th Century it was a highly important pilgrimage site.

There are a number of important buildings in two main clusters. Around the smaller Lower Lake and closest to the road is the Cathedral, the round tower and St. Kevin's Church (or St. Kevin's Kitchen) a tiny and architecturally important structure (pictured above) and St. Saviour's Church. A short walk away near the Upper Lake are St. Kevin's Cell, St. Kevin's Bed (a cave), Reefert Church and the oldest structure on the site Teampull na Scellig (an ancient church).

If you want to avoid the masses of tourists the best bet is to arrive early and look around the Lower Lake sights first before heading down to the peace and solitude of the remoter Upper Lake sights.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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