Sunday, July 29, 2012


En route to Dublin, we got off the main highway at Arklow, headed for the 6th century monastic settlement at Glendalough ("the Valley of the Two Lakes"). Founded by St. Kevin, a descendant of one of the ruling families in Leinster, Glendalough was a flourishing religious center for six centuries after his death in 618 AD. When the diocese of Glendalough was combined with Dublin in 1214, its cultural and eclesiastical status steadily diminished, and it was destroyed by English forces in 1398, although it remained a church of local importance and a place of pilgrimage. It's beautifully sited.
The first building you come to is the compact St. Kevin's Church.

Beyond St. Kevin's is the Cathedral, the largest and most imposing building on the site, and dating back to at least the 10th century.

The beautiful round tower stands near St. Kieran's church. The tower originally had six timber floors, connected by ladders. You can see the entrance is well off the ground for defensive purposes.
 No, it doesn't lean; the tilt is entirely the fault of the photographer!

Closer views of the churchyard you can see in the two photos above:

 The lamb in the headstone below probably indicates that it's a child's grave.
 An early unpierced Celtic cross:

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