Traveling through Europe // Aberdaron on the Llŷn peninsula ~ Wales

Wales Llyn Aberdaron beach

The beach at Aberdaron with a view
on the Ynys Gwylan-fawr and Ynys Gwylan-bach islands (sea lion islands).

 

Aberdaron and Bardsey Island on the Llŷn peninsula // The island of 20.000 saints

After our hike through the hills of Yr Eifl we drove over the small roads to the small Church of St Beuno at Pistyll. Apparently, an impressive baptismal font from the 11th century decorated with Celtic patterns could be found here. However, we weren’t able to find out if this is true. The Church was closed. Then we continued our way to Aberdaron. A village located in the south of the peninsula of Llŷn. My reason for wanting to go to Aberdaron was Bardsey Island, the island of 20.000 saints. In Welsh, the village is named Ynys Enli. A ferry travels from Porth Meudwy to this island.

 

Legend says, that King Arthur is buried on Bardsey Island. After Christians sought refuge in the fifth century on the island, and after Saint Cadfan established St Mary’s Abbey in 516, this place has been labeled as holy. Dying on the island was considered a path to heaven, to the gates of paradise. In the Middle Ages, it became a stamping ground and an important place of pilgrimage. Three pilgrimages to Bardsey were considered to be equal to one pilgrimage to Rome. The abbey’s fame ended in 1537 when it was demolished by the order of Hendrik VII. Yet, to this day, pilgrims still follow the footsteps of the Saints to Bardsey Island. More reason to check out the place of pilgrimage. However, unfortunately, we were unable to take a closer look.

 

In order to still go on a bit of a pilgrimage, we visited the 12th century St Hywyn’s Church in Aberdaron, also known as the Cathedral of Llŷn, which is located right above the coastal line. Afterwards, we decided to eat a delicious pysgod a sglodion (Fish & Chips) at Sblash, in the former fishing village.

 

Wales Llyn Aberdaron Celtic cross

Celtic cross at the St Hywyn’s Church of Aberdaron.

 

Wales Llyn Aberdaron church

A two aisle church, known as the Cathedral of Llŷn,
built in 1137 and further expanded in 1417.

 

Wales Llyn Aberdaron church interior

The interior of the St Hywyn Church.

 

Wales Llyn Aberdaron

Aberdaron is a lovely coastal village with a beautiful sandy beach
and numerous cosy restaurants.

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