Raise your hand if you have heard of Newgrange. Keep them raised if you are not confusing it with Stonehenge. Right. Visiting Newgrange, as I found, is visiting an ancient site older than the pyramids! Let that sink in. At the same time ask yourself, as I did, how have you never heard of it before? While on my European road trip with Auto Europe Car Rentals I stumbled on this round pile of rocks and I’m happy to shed a little light on it for those in the dark.
This analogy will make sense in the end I promise.
Where it’s at
Located a short 55 km drive north of Dublin you will find Europe’s largest Megalithic site – Brú na Bóinne. This area covers 1,900 acres and contains 40+ passage graves and archeological sites – the most famous being Newgrange. Visiting Newgrange begins at the visitor Center. There you collect tickets for a guided tour of Newgrange, the only way to view it. While you wait for your time slot, the visitor Center offers plenty of displays as well as a short film describing the mysteries surrounding Newgrange.
All this for a little light
As our bus pulled up and I got my first glimpse while visiting Newgrange all I could think of is “why?” This massive mound of rocks piled perfectly for what seems to be one show a year during the winter solace. At this time a single beam of light enters the tomb and only lasts for ~17 minutes. It is not known 100% why but this is a common theme in ancient sights found around the world. How?
To this day, the winter solace is one hot ticket at Newgrange. So much so that accesses only allowed by lottery.
Although I didn’t win the lottery, visiting Newgrange includes a simulation of this light passage while inside the tomb. Who knew a beam of light could give you goosebumps? Other cool notes include the Neolithic rock art carved inside the tomb as well as on massive boulders around the site. Again, why?
Don’t miss visiting Newgrange
It’s amazing that visiting the pyramids of Giza has long been on my bucket list yet I didn’t even know about Ireland’s own impressive stack of rocks. Visiting Newgrange was an eye-opening experience and should be on your Ireland road trip itinerary, even though it left me with more questions than answers.
Visiting Newgrange Good to Know
Tour cost: Euro 5.00
Includes: Tour guide, access to visiter center and tomb.
Don’t Miss: Art work and a walk around Newgrange.
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