Newgrange and the Winter Solstice

Newgrange, Ireland Newgrange, Ireland

Newgrange, the greatest of Ireland's ancient monuments is aligned with the winter solstice on December 21st.

For much of the past 5,200 years on the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the ancient people of Ireland have gathered inside the mound at Newgrange where the rising sun's rays illuminated the 19m-long passageway and burial chamber decorated with stone carvings.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site measures 76m in diameter and covers over an acre, it is also older than Stonehenge and the oldest of the Egyptian pyramids by 600 years.

Newgrange is the most important of Ireland's archaeological treasures and can still be visited, on the shortest days of the year at sunrise by a lottery system, but at other times of the year by guided tour.

It was rediscovered around 1700 after centuries/millennia of neglect. These white stones were found around the base of the mound and were installed like this by archaeologists who seem to think this as how it most likely looked to the original builders.

And that would make sense, as the low sun strikes these stones the whole site gleams in the landscape.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 17 December 2019 21:12
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