The Gallarus Oratory located on the Dingle Peninsula is one of Ireland’s most famous landmarks. It’s simple and stunning shape has been compared to that of an upturned boat. Every stone in it’s construction has been carefully cut and smoothly finished thus allowing rainwater to run off. This high level of craftsmanship has allowed this building to withstand the Irish elements in near perfect shape for well over 1000 years!  The interior room is approx. 4.8 m (15 ft) by 3 m (10 ft), which suggests a size that befits more an oratory than a church. It is dimly lit, with only a tiny round-headed window in the east wall, opposite the entrance door. It has been suggested that ‘Gall Aras’ translates to mean ‘The house or shelter for foreigners (or pilgrims) by archaeologist Peter Harbison. It’s construction date is unknown and may lie anywhere between the 6th and 12th centuries. According to local legend, if a person climbs out of the oratory via the window, their soul will be cleansed. Please refer to www.heritageireland.com for opening times. Photo courtesy of Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaelthacht (DAHG).

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