Monday, October 12, 2009

Ireland, Day 4: Glendalough, Powerscourt, St. Stephen's Green

  • Day 1: Adventures with Ryanair
  • Day 2- Walking Tour of Dublin
  • Day 3 - Newgrange, Tara and River Dance

  • Day 4: Glendalough, Powerscourt, St. Stephen's Green

We continued on our bus day trip on this day. Glendalough, which means Glen of the Two Lakes, is one of the most important sites of monastic ruins in Ireland. St. Kevin built a retreat there in the 600's. For 500 years it was one of Irelands great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning. The establishment was attacked, burned and plundered by the Danes, who were based in the stronghold of Dublin, a shortish distance away, and making it an easy target..
Glendalough, despite extensive fire damage in 1163 A.D. prospered until the early 13th century. In 1163, Laurence O'Toole, Abbot of Glendalough, who later became Irelands first canonised saint, was appointed Archbishop of Dublin.
The arrival of the Normans in Ireland sealed the fate of Glendalough, as in 1214 the monastery was destroyed by the invaders and the Diocese of Glendalough was united with the Sea of Dublin. After that, Glendalough declined as a monastic establishment and gradually it became deserted.

Entering into the cemetery:

Next we walked around the two lakes.

The first lake...

The second lake.

After our hike out to the lakes, we were off to Powerscourt Gardens.

Powerscourt Garden is a 45 acre blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary and ornamental lakes together with secret hollows, rambling walks, walled gardens and over 200 variations of trees and shrubs.

A view of the main estate building from the pond below:

The Italian Garden...

Close up of the lily-pads...

Entrance to the Japanese Gardens...
Pet Cemetery...

The Walled Garden...

Rose Garden...

Finally we drove back to Dublin and took a short walk in St. Stephen's Green.
St Stephen's green is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Dublin.Within the stone walls of this public park you will discover nine hectares of gardens/ponds/trees/lawns.