Glendalough

Glendalough

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Name Glendalough County Wicklow Nearest Town Baltinglass Access Road N11/N81 About Glendalough in south Wicklow is a stunningly a beautiful place; it is a place of an ancient monastic settlement, founded by St.
Kevin, and two clear water lakes beneath sheer cliffs of a deep valley.

What strike the visitor most about the place is the utter peace and tranquility it seems to radiate.

One gets the feeling after a while of walking around the tower and other buildings that it might seem a good idea to stay here and get away from it all.

The place imposes on you that sense of attachment and serenity.

It was here that St.
Kevin founded a monastery in the sixth century.

From this beginning the site grew to become famous as a centre of learning throughout Europe.

Indeed, Ireland was then known as the "Island of Saints and Scholars".

The settlement continued to expand for 600 years and was destroyed in 1398.
The buildings which survive date from the 8th and 12th centuries.

The most famous is, of course, the round tower, which is 34 metres high, and 16 metres in circumferences at the base.
A cathedral, stone churches and decorated crosses also survived.

Before the arrival of St.
Kevin, this valley (glen) would have been desolate and remote.
It must have been ideal for St Kevin as a retreat and area to be 'away from it all'.

Kevin died in 617 A.D.
at the age of 120 years and his name and life's work is forever entwined with the ruins and the Glendalough Valley.

The recorded history of the wooded valley dates from the 6th century - the dawn of Christianity in Ireland.

For 500 years it was one of Irelands great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning.

The establishment was attacked, burned and plundered by the Danes, who were based in the stronghold of Dublin, a short distance away, and making it an easy target.

Glendalough, despite extensive fire damage in 1163 A.D.
prospered until the early 13th century.

In 1163, Laurence O'Toole, Abbot of Glendalough, who later became Irelands first canonized saint, was appointed Archbishop of Dublin.

The arrival of the Normans in Ireland sealed the fate of Glendalough, as in 1214 the monastery was destroyed by the invaders and the Diocese of Glendalough was united with the Sea of Dublin.

After that, Glendalough declined as a monastic establishment and gradually it became deserted.

The buildings fell into decay and more than six hundred years elapsed before a reconstruction program was started in 1878.

Further work was carried out in the 20th century.

Wicklow being the Garden of Ireland, Glendalough and Laragh are situated at the centre and surrounded by the beautiful Wicklow Mountains.

In this idyllic spot there are many secluded places to stay, which range in size from just 4 guests at the 'local' Bed and Breakfast, to the more exclusive Lodge style B&B's and finally to the hotels.

All provide excellent service, friendly Irish welcome and excellent views.

Many provide suitable places to stay as walkers proceed along the Wicklow Way walk route.