Glendalough: The Monastic Site

Upon opening the 360 view of Glendalough, I was immediately greeted with the large gray gravestone pictured. It’s towering size dwarfed many of the other tombstones in the surrounding area, and yet, each one was distinct through its own shape and coloring. However, the unity of the site is still apparent. The graves, now unmarked possibly due to age, appear solemn and nevertheless, magnificent. One thing that struck out to me was the overgrowth of vines atop this gravestone pictured above, as well as many others in the area as new life appears. The setting naturally creates a somber atmosphere as headstones become visible in every direction. Even the cloudy sky depicted above fits well with the solemn mood of this cemetery at Glendalough. 

The serenity of the scene seems disturbed by people pictured walking amongst these graves and taking photographs. Their vibrant clothing sticks out from the greens and grays in every click. It is as though the present mingles with the past. This place, in every way, is deserving of these people’s fascination. These tombs placed in the 6th century are still standing, a testament to their creation. The history of this site appears clear. Even after all this time, the majority of the stones remain standing, their weathering only adding to the impressive nature of the site.

In the Eavan Boland poem, “That the Science of Cartography is Limited,” Boland brings attention to the famine roads. These road’s creation served a purpose, however successful or unsuccessful, in their time and remain etched into the Irish landscape. The tombstones at Glendalough similarly change the way the terrain is viewed and appreciated. The history of Ireland remains visible to the rest of civilization. For the monastic site at Glendalough and the famine roads, death and ingenuity can be seen and remembered through the effort of its people.

1 Comment

  1. I like how you addressed the ways in which man-made objects and buildings can become part of the landscape and history of a place. I find it super interesting how all of the people who have lived over immense spans of time can be connected through the structures they build and leave to future generations. All of these time periods can coexist in a powerful way as landmarks which were built at vastly different times come to stand next to each other, as in the case of this graveyard.

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