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Gallarus Oratory , Ireland


     Gallarus Oratory, another impressive stop on the Dingle Peninsula’s Slea Head Drive (R559), is one of the finest examples of an early-Christian church in Ireland—built in the 700’s, the church is often described as resembling an upturned boat.

     The 1300 year-old drystone oratory sits proudly in its field at the very western edge of Europe—a short 0.12-mile fuchsia-lined path leads directly to the gracefully corbelled structure.

     When you arrive at the oratory, take time to admire the well-placed stones, now weathered to soft tones that blend with the Irish countryside—go inside the church to experience the atmospheric light streaming in through the single window opposite the doorway. The grounds of the oratory are enclosed by a stone wall and a cross-inscribed slab adorns the area adjacent to the church—explore at leisure before retracing your steps to the car.

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