The beautiful Powerscourt Gardens and Ireland’s highest Waterfall
Do you know where the third best garden in the world according National Geographic is?
Guess what? 19 km south of Dublin in the Wicklow Mountains! It is a sin to travel to Ireland and not enjoy what is probably his greatest heritage: the green colour. Both the valley of Glendalough and Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow are essential visits to enjoy the nature that gives fame to the island. Powerscourt Garden and its Waterfall deserve a special post like today.
They are huge gardens of different styles, where the luxury and good taste combine to perfection. These elegant gardens are considered one of the most important in Ireland. Furthermore Powerscourt is home to the mansion with the same name, which reflect centuries of history with a castle dating back to 1300. It was voted one of the top ten houses and mansions worldwide by the Lonely Planet Guide. The Powerscourt mansion offers magnificent views of the lush green Irish countryside. Inside there is a variety of shops displaying the best of design and gift items from Ireland, including fashion, jewellery, local art and traditional Irish food.
The present location of the Powerscourt mansion used to be an ancient Irish castle of the thirteenth century. Lord Powerscourt commissioned the construction of a 68-room mansion in its place as flaunt to their prosperity and influence.
The gardens were planted by Richard Wingfield in the 1740s An extension of 45 hectares was made a sublime blend of formal gardens, terraces, ornamental lakes and sculptures, walled gardens and 200 varieties of trees and shrubs
POWERSCOURT GARDEN: To get lost, stroll, relax, unwind or take pictures!
1.- Italian Garden. The lawn is well cared for and it does look like a mantle of green velvet. Designed by Daniel Robertson, it took about 100 men and 12 years to complete. At the top of the terrace are the statues of Apollo Belvedere, Diana and Fame and Victory, dating from the mid-19th century it is also decorated with bronze statues of children. Below is the “Spitting Men” Original bought in Milan and including the morning sun, where you can read “Only the hours under the sun.”
2.- Tower Valley. In this area many native trees were planted and trees from North America and the Pepperpot Tower built in 1911. You can go up to the top of everything to see the spectacular views of the site, and around stands a small fort with cannons pointing out. Pepper Pot tower is so called because of its similarity to a pepper grindes- Powerscourt Gardens had an older authentic look decorated with guns from historical sources, including the Spanish Armada.
The Japanese Garden looks wonderful in spring when the azaleas are in full bloom and their blossoms perfume the air. And in autumn with the vibrant colours of Japanese maples. Stone lanterns guide you through the winding paths of the garden bringing you to its innermost circle. An air of 18th century romance still pervades here with its secret pathways and romantic atmosphere. For many people these are the gardens with the most charm. The vegetation, architecture, bridges, etc are the charming garden of a fairy tale.
4.- Pets Cementery. As incredible as it may seem, the Powerscourt family loved their pets a lot that they dedicated a beautiful cemetery that doesn’t lack in a single detail. Each one has a plaque with the name, age at death, and even the awards it won. In the case of cows the total gallons of milk produced!
5.- Winged Horses. They are made of zinc and they were created by Professor Hugo Hagen in Berlin in 1869. It is part of the coat of arms of the family. It is on the main walkway leading from the Italian Gardens to the midpoint of the path, where Triton lake is.
6.- Tritón Lake. The fountain is in the middle of this dramatic lake and it is based on the fountain in the Piazza Barberini in Rome.
7.- Dolphin Pond. The Dolphin Pond gets its name from the central fountain which has a jet and dolphins spouting water up to 5 metres into the air. It was brought from Paris by the 7th Viscount in the late 19th century. It was once known as “The Green Pond” and is one of the oldest parts of Powerscourt Gardens.
8.- Valled Gardens. This memorial garden to Julia, the widow of the 7th Viscount Powerscourt was designed by her son in 1931. The four busts are those of the four great Italian masters; Michael Angelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, and Benvenuto Cellini. These are copies of those at the Vatican along with the work of Alexander McDonald completed in Rome in 1878.
IRELAND´S HIGHEST WATERFALL
Powerscourt Waterfall is Ireland’s highest at 121m (398ft.) and is 5km from the Main Estate. It is set in one of Ireland’s most beautiful parklands at the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. Powerscourt Waterfall has been a major attraction since the 1760s. The waterfall is a haven for wildlife such as the sika deer and the native red squirrel in Ireland. It was formed in a hole formed by ice 10,000 years ago and is fed by the waters of blanket bog on the summit of the mountains across the valley. Peat often gives the water a brown colour, and the volume of water coming down drastically changes a couple of hours after the rain. The Waterfall is an ideal location for summer picnics and barbecues. There is a large amount of space to keep children entertained. There is also a playground for younger children.
If so you cannot miss Powerscourt Golf Club, voted Best Parkland Venue in Ireland. With two championship golf courses and 18 holes located in this beautiful setting, Powerscourt is the epitome of natural beauty in Ireland. Playing here is a luxury.
Speaking of luxury we highlight Powerscourt Hotel. For those who can afford it this 5-star hotel contains an impressive Spa, panoramic views, 20-meter pool lit crystals Swarovski and several restaurants, each one better than the other! The Sugar Loaf restaurant for casual dining in a sophisticated setting, or McGills, a real Irish pub!
Powerscourt is ideal to combine with a visit to Glendalough (we will talk about it in another post!) Dublin is a city that never ceases to amaze you. If anything,you won’t have time to see everything. But that’s what we are for! To arrange a tour of Ireland in which you take advantage of every minute visiting places as spectacular as this and learning English. Could you ask for more? See you next week! Greetings from the Team at Travelling Languages.