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Travel Feature: Monastic Ruins in Glendalough, Ireland

By Teresa Cheong, Lifebridges Communications. This Singapore freelance copywriter reflects on her trip to Ireland and an ancient monk's spiritual legacy in this travel feature.


Travel feature on Ireland by Singapore Copywriter

Standing tall through
the test of time

Buildings that stood the test of time framed the surreal landscape at the ancient monastic site.

The Round Bell Tower, the arched gateway to the monastic ‘city’ and the roofless cathedral. The tower was an enemy lookout and refuge for monks during Viking raids. Tall, narrow windows perched several feet above ground. It would have been a mad scramble up the ladder during a sudden raid.

Wall of silence around monastic ruins

An impenetrable silence formed a wall around the monastic enclosure. A silence that demanded awe and reverence from its visitors. As I walked among the monastic ruins, my mind was transported to the time of S.t Kevin when devout Catholic pilgrims walked thousands of miles to reach the holy site. They camped on monastic grounds and slept in cold, bare cells with their rosaries.

History carved on stone

Hidden in the backyard of St. Kevin's Kitchen was an abandoned graveyard and its museum of centuries-old Celtic crosses. The tomb slabs were inscribed with names of people who had lived out their lives and died in the monastic settlement of the Wicklow County.


All things would come to an end

The thought that 15 centuries of human life had passed through the rolling hills and and valley of Glendalough both awed and humbled me.

The dramatic rise and sudden fall of St Kevin's settlement shows the transitory nature of all human life and its structures. What greatness civilisations, nations and societies can attest to now will end at some point in 'future' history.

I haven't been back to the monastic ruins of Glendalough since my first visit. I might one day. This time, I must make it a point to remember at least one name on the monastic tombstones.



Getting there

Take the St Kevin’s daily bus service to Glendalough from the bus terminus at St Stephen’s Green in Dublin.  The bus leaves at 11.30 am from Dublin, and arrives at Glendalough by 1.30 pm.

The last bus leaves Glendalough for Dublin at 4.30 pm from Mondays to Fridays, and 5.30 pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays. For details, go to the St Kevin’s Bus Service website.

Not to be reprinted without written permission.


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Copyright 2009-2013 Teresa Cheong. All Rights Reserved.

Teresa Cheong is a Singapore freelance copywriter, web writer and business writer. She takes pride in creating quality web content that engages and sells. If you need web content writing service, contact her here.


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