Tuesday, April 3, 2012

BBRRRRR!!! It is cold!!!

Newgrange Passage Tomb
The walls of quartz, reconstructed
A visit to Newgrange Passage tomb was awe inspiring,  Just how did ancient peoples build with these huge stones?  This construction is older than the pyramids and was used to inter the dead and to celebrate the winter solstice.  There have been about 47 of these tombs discovered in Ireland, with many more still to be uncovered.  They are buried under mounds of earth.  Inside there is a main chamber and three ante chambers all covered by a vaulted domed ceiling.  The centre ceiling stone is believed to weigh 5 ton!

High Celtic Cross
Another High Celtic Cross
Modern graves inside the ruined church
Close by there are old High Celtic Crosses in a working graveyard.  Also a belltower, 110 feet of it still remaining above ground.  About a quarter has disappeared from the top. An ancient destroyed church contained recent graves all watched over by these beautifully carved tall Celtic Crosses.  The carvings depict stories from the Old and New Testaments.  The east side depicts the old testament and the west side always the New Testament.  Atop is depicted the house of God.

The 110ft belltower
 Flowing through the valley near these monuments is the River Boyne, famous for the battle fought there by the French and English over sovereignty of Ireland.  A decisive battle in Irish history.
River Boyne
The day was bitterly cold and felt as if it would snow any minute.  Sleet stung our faces and our hands were so cold they were numb.  But I would not have missed it for the world.