Kylemore Abbey is situated in Connemara, Co. Galway in Ireland and is a beautiful neo gothic building. It used to be a private home, but in the early 1920's it was sold to the Benedictine Sisters. They originally came from Belgium, but had been chased out of that country by World War I. After several years of roaming about they ended up in Connemara.
Apart from being a convent for the sisters, it's also a boarding school for girls. The nuns already had a school while in Belgium and they continued with the school when they arrived in Ireland. One of the most well known students who attended the school is actress Angelica Huston. She was in the Addams Family, The Witches and Prizzi's Honor amongs many other ones.
In recent years the number of sisters has dwindled dramatically. There are hardly any women who want to move into a convent anymore and that has resulted in an aging population of nuns. This also means that there are ever less teaching nuns. This has in turn resulted in the order deciding to close the school. As of 2010 no new students will be accepted. All the girls who study there now, will be allowed to finish their schooling. Closing the school will not mean the order will sell the property, the nuns will continue living there.
You can visit the house and grounds, although you can only see about four or five rooms of the house. The church in the grounds is a lovely little church which is a miniature replica of the Cathedral of Norwich (UK). The gardens are definitely worth a visit as well.
For more K-words from around the world, please check out ABC Wednesday and join in the fun!