Glendalough Lakes Things to Do

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  • Things to Do
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  • Things to Do
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Most Recent Things to Do in Glendalough Lakes

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    the Gateway

    by pure1942 Written Jun 24, 2009

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    The gateway into the monastic city of Glendalough is the only surviving example of its kind in Ireland. You can easily imagine the full scale of the gateway into the compound not only from the impressive remains but from surviving evidence indicating the full extent of the gateways architecture and structure. The graceful stone arches of the gateway is flanked on both sides by what would have originally been a set of two-storeyed gate houses/towers. Inside the gateway is an inscribed stone which indicated the boundary of the monastic site and the beginning of Glendalough place of refuge and spirituality. A paved pathway leads up from the gateway towards the Cathedral and Round Tower.

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    • Archeology
    • Architecture

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    The Round Tower

    by pure1942 Written Jun 24, 2009

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    The most famous landmark of Glendalough is surely its tall and impressive round tower. The 30 metre high tower is said to have been built between the 10th and 12th centuries and is built of slate and granite. The conical roof of the tower underwent full rebuilding in 1876, but was done so using the original stones of the tower which had been severely damaged over the centuries, most significantly by English forces in 1398. The tower originally had six floors which could be accessed using ladders leading from each floor to the next. Like most of Ireland’s early Christian round towers, the doorway is placed well above head level (3.5 metres in this case). This prevented intruders from gaining easy access to the tower. Once inside, the monks could pull up the entrance ladder to make it difficult for attackers to enter the tower. Round Towers in general had several functions, namely as storehouses, bell towers, look out points, places of refuse during attack and prominent guidance landmarks for pilgrims and visitors.

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    • Archeology
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    the hiking trails

    by edwis Updated Sep 20, 2007
    wild heather everywhere
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    photos from our stay in GL......

    The Afternoon Ramble

    Glendalough is all about the giant mountains surrounding two beautiful lakes down in the valley and the nine hiking trails laid out by the park service. Ranging from 45 minutes “easy” walk to a four-hour mountain hike, there is a route to challenge everyone and every skill level. The trails are well mapped and marked.

    Of course, our one-hour ramble somehow merged into the three and one-half hour “white” trail along the upper lake shore, through pine trees, up to the boulders and rocks of the ancient miners’ village ruins. We climbed stone steps up to the top of the hill and found a waterfall (a rest stop at last), over a wooden foot bridge, then across one mile of Irish blanket bog, which we traversed via two wooden railroad ties laid the long way, tied together for as far as you could see. Warning signs indicated that the dangerous cliff-side paths and areas should only be climbed by “well equipped” hikers. We didn’t even have bottles of water. Then we encountered the famous 600 steps going straight downwards to the lower lake – a real knee breaker. The trees got so dense that the sun never made it through to the paths. Along the way we encountered feral goats and saw a falcon. We drank out of the mountain stream without any ill effects. After hiking the scenic trail, we found the famous Poulanass waterfalls, beautiful and wheelchair-accessible.

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    • National/State Park
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    • Archeology

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    St Kevin's monastic village ruins

    by edwis Updated Sep 20, 2007
    the old gates
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    photos from our trip/////
    Probably the highlight of this trip was the time spent in Glendalough, “the valley of two lakes,” set in the national park part of the Wicklow Mountains. It is also known as the “valley of the saints” because St. Kevin established a monastic village here in the 6th century, the ruins of which remain today. Everything is called St. Kevin’s… St Kevin’s round tower, St. Kevin’s chapel, St. Kevin’s kitchen, etc.
    Great Irish Foods

    At the Glendalough lodge, we drank South African Chenin Blancs and ate Irish stew, cod pie, and a “loin of bacon” over buttered cabbage. (Bacon seems to be the term used for any pork dish.) The waitress at the Glendalough lodge was from Poland! In Laragh, a highlight was a fantastic chicken pate over greens with a brandy and red onion marmalade. We had roasted chicken with leeks and bacon (read ham) in a mushroom & whiskey cream sauce. Along the way, we tasted potato leek soup with soda bread, and thickest cut fries/chips yet.

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    • Archeology
    • Castles and Palaces

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    St Kevin’s Kitchen (monastic site)

    by js77 Written Jul 26, 2007

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    Actually this is 11th century church not a kitchen. It looks like it has been rebuilt later as I can’t believe the church is survived so intact from the beginning. It has a small round tower which looks very interesting.

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    Round tower (monastic site)

    by js77 Written Jul 26, 2007

    The 33m tall round tower is built in 10th century, but the upper stories and the roof have been reconstructed in 19th century. And actually you can guees the fact or restoration because almost all the churches of Glendalough are ruined, but the round tower looks intact. It looks very impressive indeed. Something really from the past.

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    Monastic Settlement

    by orlikins Written Jan 25, 2007

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    Glendalough was originally a monastic settlement back in the sixth century. St. Kevin came to this spot to create a monastery and devote himself to God.

    One of the first things you will see is the round tower. You cannot go inside.

    You will also see the ruins of churches and altars. The old Celtic architecture very interesting, it is amazing that it has lasted for so long.

    You really cannot miss this when you are in Glendalough.

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    Walking around the lakes

    by Groentje Written Feb 25, 2003

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    The Lower Lake

    The main views from Glendalough are of the two Lakes, the upper and the lower lake. It is a good walk to go from the first unto the second, starting from where Kevin started building things and ending at the Upper Lake.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    The Round Tower

    by Groentje Updated Feb 20, 2003

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    The round tower

    Those monks are something aren't they? They built this tower to protect themselves against the hordes of blood thirsty vikings that terrorised the neighbourhood; even made it out of stone, put together with pigs' tails and cow's blood! Yes yes, it is true.
    As you can see on the picture, the entrance is above sea level. The monks needed a ladder to get in there, which they then pulled away when Bjorn and Gunther came around the corner to massacre them. The Vikings were not born yesterday of course, and just threw fire into the hole. The fire went up like in a chimney and all monks died.
    A sad story, really...

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    Priest’s house (monastic site)

    by js77 Written Jul 26, 2007
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    This building dates from 12th century. It is named a “Priest’s house” as it was the burial place for priests.

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    The gateway (monastic site)

    by js77 Written Jul 26, 2007
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    Although the gatehouse of the monastery ir now ruined, the gateway has survived. So, you will enter the monastic site through the original gateway.

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    Reefert church

    by js77 Written Jul 26, 2007
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    On the South Eastern side of Upper Lake there is small 11th century Reefert church. It has a small cemetery with stone crosses around the ruined church.

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    Stone fort

    by js77 Written Jul 26, 2007
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    As you can see on the picture almost nothing remains of this stone fort. I couldn’t find also any information about when it has been built. It is located to the East from Upper Lake.

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  • flyfreak's Profile Photo

    Walk to/around the Glendalough lakes

    by flyfreak Written Dec 29, 2006

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    A view from the cemetary towards the countryside

    when visiting the St. Kevin's church it is nice to go for a walk/hike to the Lower and Upper Lake. There is also a camping ground at the Upper Lake.

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  • orlikins's Profile Photo

    The Lakes

    by orlikins Written Mar 20, 2006

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    Upper Lake

    The upper and lower lakes look lovely in the valley and with the monastic tower in the background.

    Don't swim in them - plenty of warning signs asking you not to.

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Glendalough Lakes Things to Do

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