Newgrange Passage Tomb: 10 Fun Facts About This Incredible Ancient Monument
Newgrange is a prehistoric monument in Ireland that is older than even Stonehenge or the pyramids of Egypt. Its circular mound has a retaining wall at the front and is ringed by large stone.
Underneath the mound, there are many chambers, tombs and passageways. The monument is roughly 5,000 years old, and it plays a significant role in Irish legend and folklore.
To get there, head to County Meath in Ireland. Newgrange is part of the Brú Na Bóinne Archaeological Park. If you're coming by car from Dublin, it's less than an hour's drive along the M1.
You can also head to the nearest town of Drogheda by taking a bus or train from Dublin. The No.163 bus can also take you from the center of Drogheda right to the archaeological sites of Brú Na Bóinne.
Fun Things to Know About Newgrange
Here are some fun facts about this amazing Irish landmark. Hopefully they will entice you to pay a visit in person!
But if that is not possible, you can always use them to impress your friends with your knowledge of one of the most-visited attractions in Ireland.
- For centuries, Newgrange was relatively unknown, even to locals. At the end of the 17th century, it was rediscovered by an area landowner named Charles Campbell, whose laborers found the entrance to the tomb.
- Irish legend says that the structure was a dwelling for the gods. In particular, the monument was said to house The Dagda and his son named Aengus.
- You might visit the tomb for the history and archaeology, but it's also a fantastic window into ancient art. The monument boasts 10 different styles of Neolithic art, and you can see them all on your visit.
- The busiest time of year to visit is sunrise on the winter solstice. Newgrange was designed so that on this one day a year, the rising sun perfectly aligns with the stones and the monument.
- Exterior access on the winter solstice is available to everyone, but only a select few will be able to see the chamber. If you have your heart set on the experience, enter the annual winter solstice lottery for a chance to be there in person.
- Newgrange was built with a staggering 200,000 tons of material. If it were to be built today, it would take more than 300 employees over 30 years to finish construction.
- Admission to the monument includes entry to the Visitor Centre. In addition to great exhibitions and amenities, this is the only place where you can begin your guided tour.
- The Visitor Centre is home to a number of artifacts that came directly from the monument's tombs and chambers. Look for gold jewelry, stone marbles and lots of pendants and beads. There is also a collection of Roman coins that postdate construction, and there is still confusion over how they ever arrived at the monument at all.
- Only 700 people each day can actually enter the chambers and see inside the monument. If you want to do this, make sure you arrive early and sign up for a guided tour right away. No self-guided tours are allowed, and you can only visit the interior with a tour guide.
- There are two other archeological landmarks within the Brú Na Bóinne Archaeological Park: Knowth and Dowth. Dowth has limited access, but there is no separate admission fee and it is well worth a stop if you're already in the area.
For more information, you can visit the official website here.
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