Newgrange (Irish: Dún Fhearghusa) is one of the passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne complex in County Meath, one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world and the most famous of all Irish prehistoric sites. Newgrange was built in such a way that at dawn on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, a narrow beam of sunlight for a very short time illuminates the floor of the chamber at the end of the long passageway.And if you want more, this is from Newgrange.com:
Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley.You cannot visit this landmark on your own, you'll have to attend small guided tours which starts at the visitor centre Brú na Bóinne .
After a short tour in a mini-bus, you'll see this dazzling, white, grey and green structure on top of a small hill as you enter by a side road - Newgrange.
Here it is seen from the front with the main entrance to the passage that leads to the centre of the mound, the roof box and the entrance stone.
We were allowed to enter the chamber, but not to take photographs. Since it was not December we could not experience "the real thing", but we were treated to an electronic re-re-enactment. For the real thing, look here.
A bit closer up and you'll see the special tri-spiral design on the entrance stone. This is also found inside the passage and may be the most famous Irish symbol of all. In addition you can better see the upper opening, the so-called roof-box where:
The passage and chamber of Newgrange are illuminated by the winter solstice sunrise. A shaft of sunlight shines through the roof box over the entrance and penetrates the passage to light up the chamber. The dramatic event lasts for 17 minutes at dawn on the Winter Solstice and for a few mornings either side of the Winter Solstice (from http://www.knowth.com/newgrange.htm).
Another thing you'll notice is a number of large standing stones - 12 of them. They are the last of probably 35.
If I have ever felt the centuries looking down on me, I did so when I stood at the centre of that mound.
Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.
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