A city in the hills
Surrounded by all this beauty, it's easy to see why St Kevin would choose to establish a monastic settlement here. From its humble origins in the 6th century, Glendalough became a beacon of piety and learning. A veritable city in its time, it had farms, a cathedral and the 30-metre round tower that still stands proud today.
For over 500 years, this area was at peace, as monks and lay people grew and lived and learnt together. Of course, this doesn't mean that Glendalough was without its troubles. It was attacked and plundered by Vikings, ravaged by fire and exposed to the sometimes harsh weather conditions that still beset the Wicklow Mountains today. Ultimately it fell to the Normans in 1398, but thankfully we're left with beautiful reminders of what once was.