Glendalough is a small hamlet that is home to the ruins of an ancient monastery dating from the 6th century. A perfect place for a stopover, the area is ideal for a stroll between Upper Lake and Lower Lake, two beautiful lakes that contrast beautifully with the surrounding green plains. The place is breathtakingly quiet and has a history of over 1500 years…

History of Glendalough

A monastery founded in the 6th century

Glendalough - © Evgeni Fabisuk

Glendalough – © Evgeni Fabisuk

Glendalough Monastery was founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin the priest, a hermit who decided to settle in County Wicklow to devote himself to monastic life. Over the years, many of the priest’s disciples and devotees came to join him, and expanded Glendalough by building other places of worship, such as churches, dwellings, etc., thus making Glendalough a true ecclesiastical cultural centre.

Christianity, Irish grammar and other forms of knowledge from the rare books in the village were taught here.

The hamlet was active for many centuries until 1398, when Glendalough was sadly devastated by the English, leaving behind it ruins. Only a few buildings are still standing to this day.

Visit Glendalough…

Monuments to discover

A visit to Glendalough is easy and unrestricted: you can get there every day of the year, from 8am to 6pm, except on public holidays. A Visitor Centre is available, offering a comprehensive exhibition on monastic life in Ireland and Europe at the time. It also presents the history of Glendalough, as well as the life of St Kevin, the founder of the monastery. Of course, this visit to the Visitor Centre is not compulsory, but it can help you to better situate the historical context of the village…

After a short half-hour presentation, you can then discover Glendalough and its dry stone ruins beaten by the wind, cold and sun. Access to the ruins of Glendalough is via a small wooden bridge. You will then find yourself in front of a small village with several religious buildings and an important cemetery. Also you will be able to discover during your visit :

  • a round tower: 33 meters high and with a circumference of 16 meters, this tower dates from the 11th century. It has a door located 3 meters above the ground. This tower was used as a warehouse for rare books as well as Christian relics of the time.
  • a cathedral: dating from the 12th century, this cathedral was built in honour of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. It is one of the most imposing monuments in Glendalough. Of course, the area is mainly in ruins, but you can still see the foundations of the cathedral, as well as parts of it still standing …
  • a cemetery: many graves are scattered here and there around Glendalough. You’ll find many headstones with beautifully carved Celtic crosses.

Practical information

Address Address:
Follow the road towards Laragh. Free parking and some picnic areas are waiting for you on arrival.

Coordonnées GPSGPS:
53.010568, -6.327204

Duration of the visit Duration of the visit:

Web siteWeb site:
Access to the website
PricesPrices :


Opening hoursOpening hours:

from mid-October to mid-March, every day from 9:20 am to 5:00 pm | from mid-March to the end of May, every day from 9:20 am to 6:00 pm | June, July, August, every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm | from September to mid-October, every day from 9:20 am to 6:00 pm

Glendalough : the map

So much more to discover...