Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dublin, Ireland

Our next stop, on Saturday August 10th, was Dublin, Ireland!  We were excited to go back to Dublin because I really wanted to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College, which we did not make it to last time.
First off however, our friends John and Eileen had booked a private tour of Glendalough and Wicklow County with guide Damien O. and the generously invited us to come along.  We had a wonderful day seeing more beautiful sites.
This woman was playing the Uilleann pipes at the entrance to the monastery. They are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland and the name means "pipes of the elbow" from their method of inflation.

Glendalough is a glacial valley in County Wicklow and the name means: glen of two lakes. It is renowned for its early medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin, a hermit priest.

The monastery in its heyday included workshops, areas for manuscript writing and copying, guest houses, an infirmary, farm buildings, and dwellings for both the monks and a large lay population.  The buildings which survive probably date from between the 10th and 12th centuries. (Wikipedia)

Round Towers were the bell towers of early Irish monasteries and were used to summon the monks to prayer. This (pictured on the right) is 100 feet high and has six stories with wooden landings - now vanished.  The top floor has four windows and the other floors have one each. The door is 12 feet above ground and was presumably reached by a movable ladder which those inside could pull up after them to prevent enemies from entering the tower.  This Round Tower was probably built between 900 and 1200.

The Celtic Cross is a symbol that combines a cross with a ring surrounding the intersection. In the Celtic Christian world, it was combined with the Christian cross and this design was often used for high crosses - a free standing cross made of stone and often richly decorated.  The tradition of erecting monumental stone high crosses began by the 8th century and possibly earlier. (Wikipedia)

It was a beautiful day and this valley was breathtaking.

 St. Kevin's Church
This stone-roofed building originally had a nave only, with entrance at the west end and a small round-headed window in the east gable. The upper part of the window can be seen above what became the chancel arch, when the chancel (now missing) and the sacristy were added later. The church also had a timber first floor. The belfry with its conical cap and four small windows rises from the west end of the stone roof in the form of a miniature round tower.

We were able to hike around this first lake and Mike and John went on to photograph a bit of the second one while Eileen and I enjoyed some scones.

Pretty steep fine for littering! That is a good thing.

There were ferns everywhere around the lake - lush and green.

Shamrocks!  Tradition has it that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to teach about the trinity.

A nice walking path around the lake.

More on the Dublin area tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed the trip to Glendalough. I'm so grateful to John and Eileen for inviting us along. It was a special day.