Glendalough Monastic Site

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Glendalough, Ireland

Glendalough Monastic Site Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
620 reviews
The Seven Churches of Glendalough Aug 08, 2017
Little is known about St. Kevin of Glendalough. He was an Irish bishop of the 6th Century. An ascetic, he lived for a time as a hermit in a cave near the Upper Lake at Glendalough. Subsequently, he founded a monastic community at Glendalough ("Valley of the Two Lakes"). The main "monastic city" grew at the base of the Lower Lake and was home to more than 1,000 religious and lay persons at its height. The community thrived up to the 13th century when the ascendancy of the Diocese of Dublin eclipsed it. Seven churches existed on the site and thus it became known as the "Seven Churches of Glendalough". It remained an important pilgrimage centre even its decline.

The site remains an import religious symbol in Ireland. The ruins of the monastery are both beautiful and impressive. The ruins are from a later era than St. Kevin, generally dating between the 10th and 13th centuries.

Glendalough has numerous hiking trails through which the monastic sites and the two lakes can be explored. At the Monastic City at the Lower Lake are the Round Tower (a belfry), the Cathedral, St. Kevin's Kitchen (a church despite the name), the Lady Chapel, and the Priest’s House. They are all set in a large cemetery full of Celtic cross markers. (The majority of the gravestones are from the 18th to the 20th centuries.) At the Upper Lake are the Reefert Church, Temple na Skellig, St. Kevin's Bed (St. Kevin's hermit cave), and St. Kevin’s Cell. Ruins of St. Saviour's Church and Trinity Church, to make the seven, are outside the Monastic Site on the road leading into the village. (St. Savior's is considered the "newest" of the seven, built in the 12th century.)

Reconstruction of the Round Tower and some of the churches was attempted in the 18th and 19th centuries. Informative plaques interpret each structure.

The Visitor Centre has maps of the hiking trails around the site an the lakes. There is also a film about Glendalough and a model of what the Monastic City make have looked like when active.

Admission to the grounds is free. The Visitor Centre and its presentations is 5 Euro.
Glendalough Monastic Site.
Gateway to the Monastic City.
Round Tower.
Round Tower and St. Kevin's Kitche…
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missandrea81 says:
Brings back good memories.
Posted on: Oct 17, 2017
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Glendalough
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