Thursday, May 16, 2013

An Ancient Monastery in Glendalough, Ireland

Christianity came early to Ireland thanks to the missionary work of St. Patrick. Many of the stories about him are just myths (including the one about the snakes). If you are interested in what is known about his real life, you can check these websites:   and

The pictures here are of a ruined monastery near Glendalough, Ireland. Monasteries were important in the Dark Ages because monks and clergymen were among the few people who learned to read and write. Books (especially the Bible) were copied by hand by the monks. This monastery was begun by St. Kevin, a hermit monk who died in 618 A.D. The buildings which are still standing were built in the years 800-1200. English forces partially destroyed the place in 1398 but even the ruins have been used as a place of worship ever since. The cemetery has been in continuous use with gravestones as recent at the 1980s.

My favorite is the round tower shown below which was a combination bell tower and fort. Read what it says on the plaque I photographed. Vicious raids by Vikings were a major problem then.


     As a bonus, the scenery around Glendalough is exceptionally beautiful >>>>>>>

This type of cross with the circle is known as a Celtic Cross

The date of death on the tombstone below is 1750, proving that this spot was still being used 350 years after it was ruined by the English.

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