Not as well known as the pyramids in Egypt, but Newgrange is older. It is the most famous burial place in Ireland and belongs to the complex known as Brú na Nóinne. This is the most well-known archaeological site in the country and in it you will find countless secrets.
If you visit, you will be fascinated with Newgrange. Its caves remain standing after being built about 5000 years ago. In all this time, much has been said about the purpose of its creation, but today it is still not known for sure what it was.
Discover with us all the secrets of Newgrange. Among them, the “miracle” of light, which can be seen by a lucky few each year. This is one of the most impressive places in Ireland and is sure to leave you speechless.
Where is Newgrange?
As we have already said, Newgrange is located within the Brú na Bóinne archaeological complex, where you can discover other incredible places such as Knowth and Dowth. all of it is located in County Meath. Here you can also visit historic towns like Trim and Kells.
Road access to Brú na Bóinne is a bit tricky. Therefore, if you are going to go on your own, it is best to help yourself with a GPS so as not to get lost on the way. If you don’t mind going in another transport, you can go on one of the excursions that are organized. There are several that depart from Dublin.
History of Newgrange
In the 17th century the mound on which Newgrange is built was discovered. At first they went in search of a quarry where they could extract stones, but they found what they once thought was a set of caves.
The reality is that this mound had been hidden for several millennia and it was built, according to archaeologists, between 3300 and 2900 BC. C. Later, after discovering that it was a large funerary temple, it was decided to restore it. The processes were carried out between 1962 and 1975.
The main and most developed theory is that Newgrange was used as a tomb. Despite this, only the remains of five people have been found in its immense dimensions. It is believed that the ashes of the cremated corpses were deposited in the holes that were in the chambers.
Composition of Newgrange
Newgrange is a large mound, has a diameter greater than 50 meters. It is built with carved stone and has a large wall of granite and quartz, extracted in the area of the mound. Inside there is a circumference with almost a hundred corner guards.
You can walk through the central passage that leads to a cross-shaped chamber. There is the funeral room, which has a height of 6 meters.
the day of light
There is a feature of Newgrange that is fascinating. Plus, demonstrates great knowledge of geometry and astronomy of the societies of the time in which the temple was built.
The chamber passage is only illuminated once a year. Newgrange is oriented in such a way that this phenomenon occurs on the morning of the winter solstice. Sunlight illuminates the ground and travels through it for 17 minutes. This characteristic is due, according to some experts, to the worship of the Sun that existed around 3000 BC. c.
Every year a raffle is held among those interested in seeing this event. Few are the lucky ones who can visit the passage when the beam of light comes into play. If you are very interested, you can enter the raffle. But you should also know that in Newgrange you can see a simulation using artificial light.
The rest of Brú na Bóinne
In Brú na Bóinne, In addition to Newgrange, you can see other sites such as Knowth, also belonging to the Neolithic. This is another great funeral hall that you can visit. It is larger than Newgrange and there is evidence of human activity during much of its existence.
In Brú na Bóinne you can also see another burial place called Dowth. However, in this case it is much more deteriorated and is not open to the public.