Glendalough & the Wicklow Mountains
Glendalough is a glacial valley located in Co. Wicklow which is not only home to the 6th century monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin, but also home to some of the most impressive scenery on the east coast.
The Wicklow Mountains
The Wicklow Mountains are the largest area of continuous mountains in Ireland, covering an area of 500km2 (190mi2) above 300m (980ft) above sea level. Lugnaquilla, is the highest peak in the range at 925m (3035ft) and in total 39 peaks are over 600m (2000ft).
Three holy men, Eoghan, Lochan & Eanna tutored a small boy, who was a descendant of one of the ruling families of Leinster. The boy, Kevin, would later return, and with a small group of monks found a monastery where ‘two rivers form a confluence”. The location would give Glendalough its name meaning the “Valley of the two lakes”. His fame as a holy man spread and soon he would attract numerous followers and the monastery would flourish for the next six centuries.
The present remains tell only a small part of its story, the monastery, in its heyday, included workshops, manuscript writing rooms, guest houses, infirmary, as well as dwelling for the monks as well as lay persons
The gateway to the monastic city is one of the most unique monuments in Ireland. Originally two-storeyed, with two fine granite arches, the entrance was home to a cross-inscribed stone which denoted the boundary to the sanctuary as a place of refuge.
The Round Tower
Standing 30m (100ft) high, and with an entrance 3.5m (11ft) from the ground. The tower originally had six timber floors which were connect by ladders. Each floor was lit by a small window, whilst the top floor had 4 windows, all facing the cardinal points.
The largest, and most imposing, building was built over several phases with much othe stones being used from former buildings