Glendalough in the midst of the Wicklow Mountains through forested valley with two blue lakes is definitely a place in Ireland that you’ll have to include in your itinerary. Every year over a million visitors go to Glendalough to experience its refreshingly beautiful and natural scenery. Most visit the monastic settlement that used to be so prevalent all over Ireland.
In case you’re wondering, the name Glendalough actually means the “Valley of the Two Lakes”. The monastery was founded by St. Kevin, a hermit monk. This place is ideal for walking; you can stroll, jog or take mountain hikes.
There are so many things to see in Glendalough, so many places to take your pictures at. The two lakes are called the Lower Lake and Upper Lake. You will find monastic ruins near the Lower Lake, and you’ll find walking trails that connect the lakes and the ruins.
The medieval entrance to Glendalough is the monumental gateway, which is located across the stream from the hotel. The monument is absolutely unique and you will find a cross-inscribed stone inside that indicates what used to be the sanctuary of the monument. Visit the cathedral, which is the biggest building at Glendalough. And a few meters to the south of it, you will see St. Kevin’s Cross. It’s an ancient cross with a ring and you can see the round tower right behind it. It is a truly fascinating sight.
You cannot miss the round tower in Glendalough. It’s about 30 meters high and has a door that is about 3.5 meters from the ground. It is interesting how the round tower was once used as a storehouse that kept people and treasures safe. You’ll notice a small window that lights up the four stories above the entrance, while the top story has four windows that face north, south, east and west.
Other interesting sights include the Priests’ House which has already been reconstructed, churches like St. Kevin’s Church which has a roof made of stone, and other churches like St. Mary’s and St. Kieran’s.