Startrail above chapel of Saint Kevin at Glendalough


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Glendalough (meaning “Valley of two lakes”) is a glacial valley in County Wicklow, Ireland, renowned for an Early Medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin. It combines extensive monastic ruins with a stunning natural setting in the Wicklow Mountains. The beauty and tranquility of the lakes and glacial-carved valley no doubt appealed to St Kevin, a hermit monk, who founded the monastic site near the Lower Lake in the 6th Century. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years, Glendalough thrived as one of Irelands great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning until the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214 and the dioceses of Glendalough and Dublin were united. The settlement was destroyed by English forces in 1398. A reconstruction program was started in 1878 and today the valley boasts a visitor centre, wooded trails, walkways and rock climbing. The monastic ruins include a round tower, seven churches, a gateway into the settlement with a Sanctuary Stone, two High Crosses, the priest’s house, a graveyard, Reeferts Church, St. Kevin’s Bed (Cave) and St. Kevin’s Cell (hermitage hut). More about.

In the image we can see a startrail above the celtic church of St. Kevin’s. This church is unusual, it has a round tower or belfry with conical cap integrated with the church. Perhaps because of its small size, or the tower resembling a chimney, it is frequently called “St. Kevin’s kitchen.” The tower is three stories high. Some sources suggest that it was part of the original structure, others claim it originally had a nave only with an entrance at the west end. The upper part of the gable window can be seen above what became the chancel arch, when the chancel (now missing) and the sacristy were added later. The steep roof has corbelled stones, similar to that atSt.Doolagh’s Church in Dublin and St. Columb’s Housein Kells. It is supported internally by a semi-circular vault. The church had a wooden upper floor and access to the roof chamber was through an opening at the western end of the vault.

PT: Na imagem podemos ver um startrail acima da igreja celta de St. Kevin, em Glendalough, Irlanda. Esta incomum igreja tem uma torre redonda ou campanário com o tampão cónico integrado, sendo frequentemente apelidada de “cozinha de St. Kevin. 

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