Set in the beautiful valley of two lakes, surrounded by the Wicklow Mountains and about 30 mi/48 km south of Dublin, Glendalough is one of Ireland's major monastic sites. It was founded by St. Kevin in the sixth century, and although it was destroyed by English soldiers in 1398, it remained a pilgrimage center through much of the 19th century.

The well-preserved ruins include a fine round tower, cathedral and several churches. The visitors center has good exhibits and a film about Irish monastic sites. Take time for a peaceful stroll along the lakeside trail to St. Kevin's Cell, Reefert Church and other points of interest on the grounds. North of Glendalough, near Enniskerry, are the magnificent gardens at Powerscourt House.

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