Glendalough is located just outside the village of Laragh in Wicklow. Renowned as a place of natural beauty, the ‘Glen of the two Lakes’ was formed during the Ice Age and is named after the 2 brown, calm lakes which appear in the Lower area and Upper area of the Valley. The lakes are home to numerous examples of wildlife and on a still day, many fish are visible on the banks and verges of the lakes.
Many tourists visit Glendalough each year and during peak Summer months, the area can be quite busy with coaches and cars. That said, in all our years visiting Glendalough, I have never witnessed any congestion in this area?
The famous round tower is a key focal point, standing at just over 30mtrs high (almost 100ft) it is evident of a turbulent past when Viking raids were common in the area. The tower itself is constructed mostly of mica schist but had a doorway set in a hard granite arch some 3.5mtrs off the ground. Within the tower itself, additional platforms of wood were constructed providing floors which were accessed by ladders. Small window openings cam be seen further up the tower suggesting that internally there were 4 such partitions.
The tower is one of a number of buildings known as St Kevins, along with many stone crosses and stone churches this was an early Christian monastic settlement founded in the 6th century.
Glendalough Visitor Center located off the main cark park in Glendalough has audio visual exhibition available in many languages and gives further insight into this era of Ireland.