Winter Solstice at Newgrange
For over 5,000 years a mystical celestial event has occurred in Ireland. On the winter solstice every year the rising sun penetrates a 60-foot-long passageway inscribed with mysterious carvings and lights up the interior chamber of Newgrange. Is it a tomb? A temple? A calendar? Perhaps we will never know the Neolithic mind-set that built such a complicated monument.
Although described by archaeologists as a passage grave, Newgrange keeps its secrets. Why is the inner chamber lit up for 17 minutes at the solstice – and for several days on either side of that date? What is the meaning of the triple spiral symbol inside the cave-like chamber and the beautiful abstract art inscribed on the stones? Why are we today fascinated by an ancient pile of rocks? Thousands of articles and hundreds of books raise more questions than answers.
Instead go to Newgrange at Brú na Bóinne and see for yourself. Walk where the ancients walked. View prehistoric carvings and Viking graffiti. Marvel at the sparkling wall of white quartz interspersed with granite boulders. Gaze out over the majestic Boyne River Valley. Touch the weathered standing stones. Enter the cramped passageway into the surprisingly large inner chamber with its corbelled roof. Listen to the history and legends of warriors, gods and kings.
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© 2011 Michele Erdvig
“Ireland Travel Expert”
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