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What is Avalon?

Avalon (/vln/; Latin: Insula Avallonis; Welsh: Ynys Afallon, Ynys Afallach; Cornish: Enys Avalow; literally “the isle of fruit [or apple] trees”; also transcribed Avallon or Avilion) is a mythological island in Arthurian mythology. It originally appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae (“The History of the Kings of Britain”) in 1136 as the location where King Arthur’s sword Excalibur was created, and subsequently as the location where Arthur was transported to heal from his mortal wounds at the Battle of Camlann. Since then, the island, like Arthur’s palace Camelot, has become a symbol of Arthurian legend. Avalon has long been connected with supernatural activities and people like Morgan le Fay. It is often recognised as the old island of Glastonbury Tor, which was the site of King Arthur’s ultimate resting place in the later English version of the narrative. However, other legends claim that Arthur never really died and that he will return to lead his people against their foes. As we have seen, several additional possible Avalon sites have been claimed or suggested.

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