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Places of worship from around the world

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Glendalough monastic site, Ireland
History cathedral
birdienl wrote in placeofworship


Glendalough is a glacial valley in County Wicklow, Ireland and famous for it's early Medieval ruins of a monastic settlement. The monastry was founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin, a hermit priest. The site was attacked and destroyed by English forces in the late 14th century.



There are ruins of multiple churches and other building at the Glendalough monastic site. The most complete church is pictured above. This small building, probably dating back to the 10th century is called St. Kevin's Kitchen, as the belfry reminded people of a  chimney.



The Priest House with the Round Tower in the background. The original purpose of the romanesque Priest House is unknown (despite it's name), but this might be the site where the relics of St. Kevin were kept.

A Round Tower is a typical Irish early Medieval building. The Round Tower of Glendalough is 30 meters high, with an entrance about 3,5 meter above ground level. The tower originally had six timber floors, connected with ladders. The tower probably had multiple functions: bell tower, storage of harvest and refuge in times of attack.



The cathedral is the largest and most imposing ruin of the monastic site at Glendalough. It was build in multiple phases, but most of the building you can still see dates from the 12th and 13th century.

Since its foundation, the monastic site at Glendalough has been used as a burial ground, first by the inhabitants of the monastry, later (and still today) by the local community.

In addition, check this video of the Irish choir Anúna, which has been filmed at Glendalough. You will recognize the cathedral ruin.






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A beautiful site. And another place for my trip to Ireland, one day.

It is very well reachable in a day-trip from Dublin, combined with the Wicklow mountains and maybe also Avoca valley, where the countries oldest weaving mill is located.


Great site/pics! My friends and I probably missed this when our Wicklow tour was canceled (granted, it was a New Year's Day tour); I was really looking forward to seeing that area.

Ah, that's a pity, it's really worth seeing.

Thanks very much for these - it's many years since I went there and it brings back many memories!

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