Irish Monuments

Irish Monuments
The wealth of Irish history is displayed in its monuments, which are scattered across the countryside. This celebration of natural beauty and human culture is so quintessentially Irish that it is no surprise that monuments to their heritage are a huge source of pride from the people who call Ireland home.

Brú na Bóinne

Brú na Bóinne is a complex of megalithic Bronze Age burial mounds in County Meath. The three burial mounds of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth are the most famous structures on the site, although hundreds of other burial mounds and standing stones are a part of Brú na Bóinne. Considered one of the most important prehistoric sites in Europe, Brú na Bóinne has great cultural significance to the Irish people and is a popular destination of visitors, both domestic and foreign. Dating from 3500 BC, the site predates the Egyptian pyramids and is a stunning example of the ingenuity and brilliance of stone age architects. In addition to the massive burial chambers at Brú na Bóinne, there are thousands of examples of artistic stone carvings whose meaning remains a mystery to scholars. As a World Heritage Site, the monuments of Brú na Bóinne are under strict care, so no direct access is allowed to the sites and visits must be made through the visitor center on site.

Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara is best known as the ancestral seat of the High Kings of Ireland, but its history stretches far back into prehistory when a passage tomb was constructed on the site. Tara was at the height of its power around the first century AD and has been considered an important monument ever since. The Lia Fáil, or stone of destiny, is a standing stone at the Tara site which was the crowning place for the old kings of Ireland. Located near the River Boyne, the Hill of Tara is in close proximity to Brú na Bóinne.

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael, which means "Michael's Rock" in the Irish language, was a monastic site for early Irish Christians located nine miles off the coast of County Kerry. Built in the seventh century AD, the rocky island became a center for monastic life for nearly 600 years. The site consists of a six clochans, or 'beehive huts', two oratories, 31 graves and a church to St. Michael, which dates from the 13th century. As one of the most inaccessible monuments in the country, Skellig Michael is a remarkably well-preserved example of medieval asceticism.

Article Written By Michael Degnan

Michael Degnan is a Central California-based writer with a passion for all forms of human technology, from food production to the newest gadgetry. He spent three years writing tech reviews for CNET, as well as having written articles for several nonprofit organizations dealing with indigenous rights. He holds degrees in cinema studies and cultural anthropology from San Francisco State University.

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