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Glendalough Lakes Travel Guide: 39 reviews and 192 photos

Monastic City of St. Kevin

Glendalough, meaning Glen of the Two Lakes, is one of the most important, beautiful and interesting monastic sites in Ireland. Blessed with a stunningly beautiful natural setting deep in the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough is the site of Ireland’s premier early Christian settlement.
St. Kevin founded a monastery here in the early 6th century. Kevin was born into a wealthy and powerful Leinster clan but forsake his privileged lifestyle to live in solitude and prayer in Glendalough, where, after studying under Eoghan, Lochan and Eanna, he founded a monastic settlement of learning, art and spirituality. Kevin died around 618 but the legacy and fame of his centre of learning, art and Christianity lived on for centuries in Glendalough.

In the 12th century, Glendalough was reaching the pinnacle of its importance as one of Ireland’s most important monastic sites and was designated as one of north Leinster’s ‘capitals’ of ecclesiastical power. Under the direction of Laurence O’ Toole, abbot of Glendalough, the monastery continued to prosper and grow in international fame.

After the diocese of Glendalough and Dublin were amalgamated in 1214, Glendalough’s importance and popularity started to wain and after the English destroyed and plundered many of the buildings in 1398, Glendalough lost much of its remaining power. The site became more important as place of local religious significance and as a place of pilgrimage. Today the monastic site of Glendalough is still an important place of pilgrimage and the valley itself is also a hugely popular national park due to its breathtaking natural beauty and location. Glendalough has become one of Ireland’s most visited historical, cultural and religious attractions.

  • Intro Updated Jun 24, 2009
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  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2011 at 5:31 AM

    Hello, Brian! I see it's a great historical place full of legends where every stone has its own story to tell us... Thanks for your presentation! ><><><><

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