Tourist Information Dublin

Glendalough, County Wicklow

Glendalough ("Gleann Dá Loch" in Irish, literally "Glen of Two Lakes") is a glacial valley in County Wicklow renowned for its Early Medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin, a hermit priest.

Kevin first went to Glendalough as a boy while embarking on his religious studies. He returned later, with a small group of monks to found a monastery. Kevin's fame as a holy man spread and he attracted numerous followers. He died in about 618.

For 600 years afterwards, the monastery at Glendalough flourished and was designated as one of the two dioceses of North Leinster in 1111. St. Laurence O'Toole, born in 1128, became Abbot of Glendalough and was well known for his sanctity and hospitality.

In 1214, the dioceses of Glendalough and Dublin were united and the cultural and ecclesiastical status of Glendalough began to diminish. The destruction of the settlement by English forces in 1398 left it a ruin but it continued as a church of local importance and a place of pilgrimage.

The present remains in Glendalough tell only a small part of its history.

Glendalough is an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are many walking trails of varying difficulty and length in the area.

Glendalough's granite cliffs, situated on the hillside above the north-western end of the valley, are a popular rock-climbing location. There are about 110 routes, at all grades up to E5/6a.

Glendalough is on the route of The Wicklow Way.

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Telephone: 00 353 (0) 4 044 5600

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County Wicklow

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