Part 2...Kylemore Abbey...A romantic gift lives on...A tough walk required to explore...


The view across Lough Pollaacapull as seen from the castle's veranda.
"Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland" 
"One of the most curious facts about Ireland takes place in the town of Killorglin in the Reeks District. Here, a festival known as the Puck Fair sees a goat crowned as King Puck for three days. The Queen of Puck, traditionally a local young schoolgirl, crowns the goat."
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The story continues today with photos and the history of the Benedictine Nuns of Kylemore Abbey. Here is the link to the property's website with a wealth of information if you'd like to read further.

Unfortunately, due to the walk up a long and steep hill to the actual abbey, we could only enjoy the views from afar which didn't produce good photos due to the distance.
As we approached the enchanting Kylemore Abbey Castle. 
Below is a photo which we borrowed from their site of the exterior of the Neo-Gothic Catholic Church.
"For more than a century, Kylemore has been the romantic nineteenth-century Irish castle overlooking a lake in the West of Ireland.  Just a five-minute (steep) walk along the shores of Lough Pollacapull lies Kylemore’s enchanting neo-Gothic Church. 

Kylemore Abbey’s Neo-Gothic Church was built in the style of a fourteenth-century. Described as a ‘Cathedral in Miniature’ this elegant building is a lasting testament to the love of Mitchell Henry for his wife Margaret. On your visit, you may be lucky enough to enjoy one of the many musical performances that take place here throughout the year."
Please excuse the blurry photo (not our photo) of the neo-Gothic Catholic Church located on the ground of Kylemore Abbey.
"Benedictine nuns of Kylemore Abbey


The present Benedictine nuns of Kylemore Abbey have a long history, beginning at Brussels in 1598.  This was the time following the suppression of religious houses in the British Isles when British Catholics left England and opened religious houses abroad. A number of monasteries originated from one Benedictine house in Brussels, founded by Lady Mary Percy in 1598.


Houses founded from Lady Mary’s house in Brussels were at Cambray in France (now Stanbrook in England) and at Ghent (now Oulton Abbey) in Staffordshire. Ghent, in turn, founded several Benedictine Houses, one of which was at Ypres. Kylemore Abbey is the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys.

There are numerous religious statues and displays throughout the castle.
The community of nuns, who have resided here since 1920, have a long history stretching back almost three hundred and forty years. Founded in Ypres, Belgium, in 1665, the house was formally made over to the Irish nation in 1682. The purpose of the abbey at Ypres was to provide education and religious community for Irish women during times of persecution here in Ireland.

Down through the centuries, Ypres Abbey attracted the daughters of the Irish nobility, both as students and postulants, and enjoyed the patronage of many influential Irish families living in exile.

Mitchell Henry, digitized portrait who built the castle for his beloved wife, Magaret Vaughn Mitchell in 1867.
At the request of King James II, the nuns moved to Dublin in 1688. However, they returned to Ypres following James’s defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. The community finally left Ypres after the Abbey was destroyed in the early days of World War One. 

The community first took refuge in England, and later in Co Wexford before eventually settling in Kylemore in December 1920.  At Kylemore, the nuns reopened their international boarding school and established a day school for local girls. 
Margaret Vaughn Mitchell's digitized portrait.
They also ran a farm and guesthouse; the guesthouse was closed after a devastating fire in 1959. In 2010, the Girl’s Boarding School was closed and the nuns have since been developing new education and retreat activities."
                            
The property's peaceful environment, including the Victorian Walled Garden, left us smiling, grateful we'd taken the time and effort for seeing what we were able to see.
Riding boots.  Horseback riding was prevalent in this period.

I suppose this is how it will be with tours at ports of call during our upcoming Baltic cruise.  I can't imagine I'll have a lot more improvement in the next three weeks when we head to Amsterdam.  But, I'll continue to do the best I can to increase my stamina. 
Visitors aren't allowed to view the second floor occupied by the nuns.
Have a fantastic "hump day" for those still working.  And a great "all-of-the-days-of-the-week-are-the-same" for us retirees!                            
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Photo from one year ago today, July 17, 2018:
That morning's 17 kudus in the garden.  See video at this link for details.

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