Kylemore Abbey & Garden
A visit to Connemara would not be complete without a visit to the magnificent Kylemore Abbey & Garden - the jewel in the Connemara crown! Read on to find out why Kylemore Abbey & Garden is one of the top attractions in Galway. Kylemore Abbey & Garden has a superb picturesque lakeside setting, surrounded by woodlands at the foot of the Twelve Pins Mountains. The Abbey (which looks more like a charming fairy tale castle) is said to be one of the most admired buildings in Ireland, with its very impressive neo-gothic style exterior standing out against the backdrop of wild and beautiful Connemara.
It was originally called Kylemore Castle and was built around 1863 as a residence for a wealthy English politician named Mitchell Henry. It took about 5 years to complete the castle. Kylemore Abbey & Garden is the home of the Benedictine Order of Nuns in Ireland who have lived here since 1920. The nuns decided to open a boarding school for girls, although the school closed in 2010. The boarding school is presently located in the abbey part of the castle.