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Powerscourt: estate, famous parks, waterfall

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Powerscourt: estate, famous parks, waterfall


Powerscourt Estate, owned by several generations of Viscounts Powerscourt, is located in Wicklow County near Dublin. Tourists who come to the capital of Ireland are offered to spend half a day on a trip to the estate. Fans of park culture should visit this place because Powerscourt Gardens was created over 100 years by landscape designers. In the ranking of National Geographic magazine, these gardens take 3rd place in the world after Versailles parks and London Kews.

In addition to the mansion and parks, tourists here visit Powerscourt Falls, the highest in the country (121 m), and the nearby town of Glendalough, the early Christian center of Ireland.

The castle in addition to the scarf from the queen’s shoulder

In the XIII century on the estate there was a Norman castle: the name of the owner of the castle was Le Power, and it gave rise to the name of the castle. At the beginning of the 17th century, the castle belonged to the English crown and was donated by Elizabeth I to Marshal Wingfeld. The story goes that the queen suggested that the marshal himself choose a reward for military valor, and he replied that he had enough of a scarf from the queen's shoulder. The cunning politician received a scarf, and in addition to it the title and estate.

In the first half of the 18th century, the Viscount Powerscourt owned the estate and decided to build a mansion worthy of his title for his family. In 1741, the construction of the house in the Palladian style was completed. This style, named after the works of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio, is unusually popular in 18th-century England. Its features are antique rigor, symmetry, perspective.

The building turned out to be so magnificent and so successfully fit into the landscape that it looks more representative than some European palaces. The house is located at the highest point of the estate, a monumental grand staircase that leads to the lake descends from it.

The mansion for a long time remained unchanged, but in 1974 suffered from a strong fire. The building was restored, but the old interiors were lost forever. Powerscourt House is a museum, there are interesting exhibits there: for example, the Tara Puppet Palace, 22 rooms of the doll house.

Another attraction of the house is the belvedere, an observation deck decorated with pebble southern mosaics, openwork wrought iron grilles. From here the park zone is well visible.

The many faces of Powerscourt Manor Parks

Parks on the estate began to be set up in parallel with the construction of the house in the 18th century. This work went on with interruptions for almost 150 years. The parks got their final look in the 80s of the XIX century through the efforts of Daniel Robertson, who managed landscape works in Powercourt for 20 years.

As a result, several gardens emerged that differ in a set of plants, planting style, the presence of statues, ponds, etc. The traveler is greeted by the amazing diversity of the plant world, which is difficult to expect in the harsh climate of Ireland. Landscape designers in Wicklow County have a natural helper - the warm Gulf Stream: because of its proximity, it is possible to grow flowers and subtropical trees, alpine meadows here.

  • An Italian garden with Lake Triton spreads mowed lawns with large, complex shapes, but geometrically calibrated flower beds. The flower pattern on the flower beds also presents clear lines, contrasting colors. The crowns of the trees are trimmed in the shape of geometric shapes.

The lawn of the Italian Garden is planted on artificial terraces: they look like natural level differences, but are created specifically for a beautiful relief. A small round pond with a statue of the ancient Greek god Triton in the middle is the central composition of the park. In front of Lake Triton, guests are greeted by winged horses from the coat of arms of the Viscounts Powerscourt. A stream of water strikes from Triton itself - a fountain in the middle of the lake.

  • Italian is followed by the Japanese Garden. This is a completely different composition: trees grow close to each other, plants change, many weeping willows. Everywhere there are ponds with large water lilies, bridges with wooden railing, arbors in the form of pagodas.
  • The Tower Valley Garden belongs to the Garden with Walls style: in the center there is a battlement with an observation deck, built specifically for the arrival of the Prince of Wales. The tower is called the “Pepperbox” because it is built in the style of a pepper-tower from the Viscount’s favorite silver dining set. This is an arboretum, there are many types of trees: cypresses, sequoias, Lebanese cedars.
  • There are other gardens with many flowers and sculptures, rose gardens, ponds with reeds, grottoes.

Powerscourt Waterfall - Favorite Picnic Area

Powerscourt Waterfall is interesting not only for tourists - locals also like to come here. Noisy water flows down large boulders from a height of 120 meters, a waterfall surrounds a cloud of spray. You can get to the stream from the side to take interesting photos.

There are green lawns in front of the waterfall, where you can have a picnic with family or friends. One drawback of this place is that it is very popular, there are a lot of people.

An ancient monastery in the village of Glendaloh

In the county of Wicklow is the Glendalough Valley with the village of the same name. Before the advent of the Vikings in the 19th century, it was the religious Christian center of Ireland: churches and monasteries were built here, pilgrimages were made here. One of the centers of pilgrimage is the monastery of St. Kevin of the VI century A.D. The ruins of the monastery have survived to this day next to the ruins of the other 5 churches that once attracted believers to these places.

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