Tuesday, April 21, 2009

N is for Newgrange in ABC Wednesday

In September 2006 I found myself in Dublin; Ireland. I had two things on the agenda: Attend a conference and visit Newgrange. And if you don't know what Newgrange is; here is Wikipedia for you:

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.


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).
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.

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.

Go!


Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.


For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

41 comments:

Wenche said...

Eit flott å lærerikt innlegg.Har lært masse eg no:-) Nydelege bilder.

ramblingwoods.com said...

I thought I remembered that from the winter solstice celebrations. I just think of all the work that went into building those structures...

Old Wom Tigley said...

Fantastic post... this is really interesting and one place I would certainly head to.

Anne said...

Utrolig interessant!!! og når man får slike smakebiter får man jo så lyst til å høre, lære mer :-))

imac said...

Super Post, and very interesting.

Sara said...

That was quite fascinating and you gave us lots of information about this ancient place. I went to the link to see "the real thing" - thanks!

Anne-Berit said...

Dette var interressant,både å lese om og se bilder fra.Bildene var foresten veldig fine.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Grate Rune, what a fascinating place! Jag trodde du skulle ta NORGE
:-)

Tyra

Your EG Tour Guide said...

This is the first I've heard of Newgrange. Considering how old it is, it's still in pretty good condition. Thank goodness the Irish appreciate their past.

photowannabe said...

Fascinating. There is nothing new under the sun. Wonderful choice for the letter N.

Leslie: said...

I love this sort of history and I will definitely put it on my list of places to see. Fascinasting post!

RennyBA said...

Very interesting history - thanks for sharing! And with wonderful pics to document - as always!

RennyBA's Terella

Miss_Yves said...

How huge is this structure !I notice some celtic circles, like in Gavrinis (Brittany)
Megalitic monuments may be seen in France (Bretagne et Corse)

Jeni said...

What an absolutely awesome post. The article and photos on it about Newgrange were very interesting as well as beautiful to see and learn about this structure.

spacedlaw said...

Thanks for a very interesting post!

naturglede said...

Interessant. Hva du har vært med på. Flott levert for N.

kadermo said...

Det var ett spännande inlägg, återkommer imorgon för att läsa mer.

Sylvia K said...

That is so fascinating! What a terrific post and your photos are gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing this with us today!!!!

Reader Wil said...

How very interesting! This is something I should like to know more about! Who were these people who were so clever to know exactly when winter solstice took place. Thank you for showing the very clear and brilliant photos and the information. Thank you also for your kind words!

Babooshka said...

This is fascinating. Even better is is just across the water from my Island, as we are in the Irish Sea. I am going to be annoying my Irish friends here about this place. My kind of post, beautiful photography and a slice of history.

Rinkly Rimes said...

What a tremendous number of rocks involved! The colours are startling too.

Lew said...

Fascinating! That people 5000 years ago had such a sense of time and space! I had not heard of Newgrange. I knew there were other places similar to Stonehenge, but not any details. Thanks for posting Newgrange.

PERBS said...

I love my armchair travels with you and your blog -- thanks for making the world seem much closer. I loved your photos.

ChrisJ said...

How is it that I've never heard of this place and I grew up in England -- though I must admit I've never been to Ireland. That is fascinating! There many of those large stone circles all over England, Scotland and Wales -- and I guess Ireland too, not to mention Europe.

Malyss said...

Hey! I went there when I was young!!
When I was 18, I worked several months in Ireland, to keep children and learn english, and I was living in the city called Dundalk.The family took me there one day to visit the place..You're making a lot of memories coming back!!I really loved Ireland ..

Katney said...

And we brag on our modern technology! What ancient wonders from around the world! I will have to put Newgrange on our list when we eventually visit the British Isles. (My Scottish descended husband keeps buying books on Scotland, but when we go some day, he will have to put up with my dragging him around to other parts.)

Tumblewords: said...

Fascinating! The Yucatan has a number of reminders that we aren't the smartest or the most resourceful in many ways! :) The stonework is here is beautiful.

Jay said...

Well, that was absolutely fascinating! I shall certainly go if I find myself anywhere near to Newgrange! Thanks for that! :)

RuneK said...

Lærerik post, og nydelige bilder! Må ha vært en spennende tur også.

John said...

Som vanlig en meget info rik post med flotte bilder. Gratulerer med POTD også. Velfortjent denne gangen som alle de andre :)

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i've always wanted to visit ireland, one of the more rustic parts of europe

(see you in hania in september??)

Dragonstar said...

You are right - I really like this post! I've never made it to Newgrange, but it must be an unforgettable experience. I'm always awed by the sheer size of those carved stones...

Carol said...

Very interesting post...I love reading the history of different places...your photos are beautiful also...

Grace and Bradley said...

Really interesting information, thanks for sharing. It is amazing how people in prehistoric time already knew and could do.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Absolutely fascinating, Rune! Most excellent photos and very, very interesting information. Thanks for sharing this on ABC.

LiBeReJo said...

kule bilder:) og lærerikt:)

Ida said...

Flotte minner og omgivelser! :)

Barbara Martin said...

Wonderful historical post with awesome photos. thanks, RuneE.

Granny Smith said...

If I ever get to Ireland this is one the first places I would visit. Thank you for a most interesting commentary.

Patrick Jackson said...

Newgrange is one of my favourite places. I would love to use a couple of your pictures in a powerpoint presentation I am preparing for some teachers in Taiwan. How can I go about getting your permission to use them? Best wishes from Dublin.

RuneE said...

Patrick Jackson: Thank you for the nice comment! It is a wonderful site indeed. You may use these photos for your presentation as long as you acknowledge my copyright and mention where you found them. Good Luck!

PS Sorry about the late answer, but I have been away.