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Gallarus Oratory, Dingle

4.3
#1 of 82 in Things to do in Dingle
Ruin Religious Site
Climbing out of Gallarus Oratory through its window cleanses one's soul, according to local mythology. Visiting the 1,000-year-old church proves this cannot be done, as the structure's window measures only 18 cm (7 in) in length and 12 cm (5 in) in width. Despite its small dimensions, the ancient church represents the pinnacle of dry-stone architecture, built using techniques originally developed by Neolithic tomb makers. The builders cut the stones with such precision that even after a millennium the structure exhibits a smooth finish on its outside walls. Take a walk around this simple structure to fully appreciate the level of skill needed to fit the stones so precisely together. For Gallarus Oratory and beyond, use our Dingle itinerary builder to get the most from your Dingle vacation.
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1,084 reviews
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4.3
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  • This is a worthy place to stop if you have some time at the end of your tour of Slea Head Drive. It is very well preserved and has an interesting history. Avoid the first turn with the "free parking" ...  more »
  • We have enjoyed our time through the history with a little video shown at the beginning of the journey. We then saw the Gallarus Oratory and I was amazed it didn't get a drop of rainfall in it.  more »
  • Highly recommend the backpacker we have so few km to get there, pay a few euro to enter a space open to all (!) to face a small building certainly beautifully bricked and cute but that resembles a hut or a borie furiously. So a little disappointed. Free film outside the Park.
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  • Very interesting construction! It was built only with stacked stones (no mortar), yet it's waterproof. I'd say it's worth the visitor center fee, and I didn't even watch the video (though I hear there's a free footpath leading to the oratory, that's worth looking into).
  • Loved the oratory. Dry stone construction/corbelling is like 3-dimensional puzzle construction. An incredible technique used by Western Irish for centuries. Be sure to watch the 10-minite video and use the toilets. Worth every penny.
  • Impressive that the building is still standing but disappointing that the visitor centre is charging €3 pp when there is a free footpath up the road. The footpath (in the picture) is also more pleasant than the path from the visitors centre. Not worth €3 but good for free.
  • Interesting place. Allocate about half an hour : 15 minutes for the introductory movie and 15 minutes for the church itself.
  • The Oratory is stunning and one of the Highlights on the Slea Head Drive. Don't miss. And while you're in the area, also drop by the near church ground and ruin of Kilmalkedar Church!

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Where to stay in Dingle

Dingle Town represents a relaxed, artistic destination known for having plenty of affordable bed and breakfasts and other specialty accommodations. Many of these cluster right in the town's center, although the town also has a number of hotels, hostels, and other lodging for tourists. Here it's even normal to stumble upon a pub offering accommodation. A more luxurious (and often costly) option for travelers taking in the beauty of this peninsula is to stay in a scenic guesthouse overlooking Dingle Bay, which you can find in or right outside of town.
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