2000 years before the first Pharaoh of Egypt grew out of short pants, the Pre-celtic Irish had the whole monumental tomb thing licked. Dating from about 3200 BC, Newgrange is possibly the finest example of a neolithic passage tomb in existence. Built with astonishing precision, the tomb's central passage is aligned in such a way that during the days of the Winter Solstice a ray of light shoots down the passageway at dawn to illuminate the chamber at the heart of the tomb for about 15 minutes. There is a lottery every year for admission to the tomb during these solstice days, but don't get your hopes up - only 50 names are chosen out of about 20, 000 applications. But don't despair either -Newgrange is impressive at any time of year. Keep an eye open for the famous tri-spiral designs on the entrance stone and along the walls of the inner tomb itself.
We honestly didnýt have any clue as to which tour we should go on, and in the end it didnýt matter because this one was the only one that had room for us. We had a blast, even though it was a large group. The first place we visited was the Hill of Tara, where one can supposedly see six different counties in Ireland at once. We had remarkable weather and the Hill was very beautiful. Then we visited Trim Castle, the site of the ýBraveheartý movie, and Newgrange. Newgrange was awesome. Itýs this really old (as in 5,000 years old which makes it older than Stonehenge) tomb thatýs on par with the pyramids age-wise and historically. And we got to go inside! We also visited the new Brý na Boinne Visitor Centre. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and cheerful and gave us a lot of little trivial information along the way.
Newgrange is 1000 years older than Stonehenge, and 500 years older than the Great Pyramid. At winter solstice sunlight illuminates the central burial chamber via the roof-box over the doorway. The spiral design of the massive stone that blocks the entrance is one the most commonly replicated Celtic patterns.
Tour to Newgrange. A four hour tour, this Burial mound is older than some Pyramids and Stonehedge. There are stonehedge type monoliths surrounding the mound, that date 1000 years after the mound was built which was around 3200BC
If you love history, this is for you.