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The ancient tourist attraction in Europe ‘older than Stonehenge’ that everyone visits once a year

by Staff

THERE’S an ancient tourist attraction in Europe that’s said to be older than Stonehenge, but it’s arguably less well-known.

Newgrange is a large circular mound, with an inner stone passageway, that attracts holidaymakers during the winter solstice.

Newgrange has been dubbed the “jewel in the crown of Ireland’s Ancient East”Credit: Photolibrary – Getty
The ancient site is surrounded by 97 kerbstonesCredit: Getty
Some of the stones are engraved with symbolsCredit: Reuters

Despite being older than Stonehenge, Newgrange is arguably less well-known.

Located in the Boyne Valley in County Meath, Ireland, the Neolithic monument has been described as the “jewel in the crown of Ireland’s Ancient East”.

The ancient site was built by farmers in the Stone Age over 5,000 years ago, which makes Newgrange older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza.

It’s thought that Newgrange was used as a grave or a tomb, but it’s also been described as an ancient temple too.

In Irish mythology, the ancient site was said to be the home of The Dagda – an important god, who is said to have inhabited ancient Ireland.

Standing at 13m high and 85m wide, the site is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with symbols.

Meanwhile, inside the monument, there’s a stone passageway that stretches for 19m, which leads into a chamber with three alcoves.

During the Winter Solstice, the passage, and the chamber, are aligned with the rising sun, so the sunlight can penetrate the chamber on the shortest days of the year.

From December 19, 2023, to December 23, 2023, a narrow beam of light will reach the chamber at dawn.

Newgrange is part of a string of ancient monuments that lie along a bend of the River Boyne.

Knowth and Dowth are two other nearby monuments, and there are thought to be 35 other smaller mounds in the area.

Holidaymakers who want to visit the monument will need to book a guided tour from the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre.

Visitors can only access the monument via a guided tour.

Newgrange is a 50-minute drive from Dublin, the Irish capital.

Holidaymakers have been raving about the ancient site on TripAdvisor, with one person saying: “This is my third visit to Newgrange, and every time I have been it has been a wondrous experience.”

Another person added: I was blown away by our short visit to Newgrange.”

A third wrote: “It’s such a cool place, we really liked the way they had set it up, and the guide knew exactly what kind of vibe to create when we went inside.”

Newgrange isn’t the only ancient site that’s been attracting the attention of tourists in recent years.

One of those places is Avebury, which some visitors have said is much better than Stonehenge.

Avebury henge and stone circles is an English Heritage site and are described online as “one of the greatest marvels of prehistoric Britain”.

The henge contains the largest stone circle in Britain, which also has two smaller stone circles enclosed within it.

English Heritage claim that Avebury is “part of an extraordinary set of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial sites that seemingly formed a vast sacred landscape”.

Other people agreed that Stonehenge is far less impressive than Avebury, recommending it as the better tourist attraction.

White witch Dee Johnson recently revealed the real reason holidaymakers should visit Glastonbury – and it has nothing to do with the festival.

Visitors flock to Newgrange during the Winter SolsticeCredit: www.newgrange.com
Holidaymakers can only visit the site when booked onto a guided tourCredit: www.newgrange.com

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