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Stonehenge, United Kingdom
Idea About: place
Country: United Kingdom
United Kingdom (10)
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in England in Wiltshire county, about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Amesbury and 8.1 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. The site is one of the most well known prehistoric monuments in the world. It represents a large group of monoliths erected in a circular setting and surrounded by numerous man-made changes in land level (earthworks). Construction of the monument began 5,000 years ago. Stonehenge was constructed in three phases in a time span of more than 1000 years. The initial phase began in 3100 BC and involved the excavation of the ditches that formed a henge enclosing 30 acres of land and having 350 feet in diameter. The second phase started approximately in 3000 BC. Most of structures erected during this period are not visible any more; perhaps the only remains belong to the site of cremation cemetery. The third phase (believed to be started about 2600 BC) is the one when the famous stones that still stand today were put in place. Stonehenge is located at the center of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. There are evidences of large-scale construction on and around the monument that may extend the site time frame for the whole complex to 6500 years.
What Makes It Special
The prehistoric age, magnitude and mysterious purpose of Stonehenge draw over 800,000 visitors per year. Thousands of visitors gather on the summer solstice to watch the sunrise at this ancient and mystical site. Stonehenge is believed to be a structure with multiple purposes and the stones were erected at a particular site of terrestrial and celestial energetic power which was known by the peoples of the region. It was a temple and an astronomical observation device, (the stones are aligned almost perfectly with the sunrise on the summer solstice). It was a structure built with particular materials: the diorite bluestones brought from 240 miles and showing evidence of prior use in another sacred structure, the micaceous green-tinged stone of unknown origin and the great Sarsen stones. Nowadays the site has become a place of pilgrimage and worship for Neopagans who are the followers of Celtic paganism. New Age worshipers, who visit Stonehenge, believe that the powerful energies exist at the site. The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986.
Directions To Destination
- By bus: buses depart from Heathrow Airport and from Victoria Coach Station in the center of London. The journey takes about 2 hours. Get off at Amesbury. From there you can either walk (about 2 miles), catch a local bus, or get a taxi.
Best Time To Go
All year round. The site is opened every day. If you are interested to see summer solstice beware crowds of tourists and worshipers.
Where To Stay
- Antrobus Hotel (three-star): prices from £ 65 per night, located in the ancient town of Amesbury, built in 17th century.
Sightseeing, hiking (8.5 mile round-trip hike through prehistoric monuments and landscapes.
Useful Visitor Information and Tips
Open every day except December 24 and 25.
Tags: Amesbury; Bronze Age; diorite bluestones; England (4); London (2); monoliths; Neolithic Age; prehistoric monument; Salisbury; Sarsen stones; Stonehenge; UNESCO World Heritage Site (19); United Kingdom (7); Wiltshire county
Web Sites: Stonehenge.co.uk