Stonehenge it is a masterpiece of engineering and a prehistoric temple, built by sophisticated people. The stones are aligned with the movements of the sun.
You can read these words at an exhibition dedicated to this Unesco World Heritage site in a nearby museum. Hundreds of years have passed on, and Stonehange is still a mystery and the purpose of this place is still mysterious to this day.
Stonehenge is one of the most easily recognisable prehistoric monuments in Europe and this circle stands in a landscape on Salisbury plain rich in archeological sites.
This was my another destination, although I felt a bit skeptical after comment one of my friend that ,,- This is only a pile of stones and not many interesting ones at that''.
I thought he'd probably never been there and was just telling me not to go there. So I went. TA-DA!
There is a point there called midwinter sunset, but what does it mean?
Mysterious Stonehenge was built to align with the sun on the solstices. On the summer solstice, the sun rises in the north-east part of the horizon and its first rays shine into the heart of Stonehenge. On the winter solstice, the sun sets to the south-west of the stone circle.
What made people build Stonehenge?
It was very hard and physical work. One of stones would weight about 28 tonnes. Perhaps the people who built Stonehenge were slaves, but this is only guess. There must have been leaders who planned and organised the construction. There also must have been people who provided the building materials and equipment and fed, sheltered the workers.
At the front to museum I seen huge stone which looked like an exact replica of stone of the upright sarsen of the inner horseshoe. The original stone weights about 28 tonnes. The intresting theory says that stone was moved by securing it to a wooden sledge, which could then be pulled over rollers or along rails. The ropes were probably made from ,,bast'' (inner bark), spun and twisted together to form strong cord.
I cannot imagine the amount of work of people, maybe even a few horses, who one by one carried these huge stones, or rather pieces of rocks, thanks to which Stonehenge was created.
My daughter looked very funny wrestling with this stone and so did the other children who were lining up to try and pull the rope of this huge stone. Unfortunately, I won't show you this photo, because all photos of my children are my exclusive use.
Once of theory says that for the first few hundred years the earthwork enclosure was used as a cemetery, burial chamber. Once the stones monument was built it seems to have been kept separate from everyday life.
The stones were aligned with the rising and setting of the sun at the midsummer and midwinter solstices, suggesting that people gathered here for ceremonies at these time of year or it was a place of ritual sacrifice and Sun worship. The other theory says that Stonehenge was an enormous astronomical calendar.
Construction probably took place around 3000 BC with the building of the outer banks and ditch and finishing about 1400 BC, when the last of the great sandstone trilithons was raised. The stones came from neighbouring Marlborough Downs. The smaller blue stones inside the circle were probably transported to the Stonehenge from Preseli Hills in Wales. I read somewhere that blue stones were transported probably from the North Britain. It would be a true, because in the North was in this time a plenty of rocks, stones.
To bring you closer to the time when this place was created, I will make comparison. Stonehenge was created much before:
Great Pyramids in Egypt
Parthenon in Athens (Greece),
Colosseum in Rome (Italy),
Statues on Easter Islands (Polynesia)
Machu Picchu (Peru)
At exhibition I learnt that this place was made between 3000-2200BC.
I went to Stonehenge at the end of October and it was a very sunny and warm day, which was unusual for this time of year. But the early morning sun illuminated beautifully between stones and dressed them with its rays. Just look at my top photo of powerful outline of Stonehenge which, however, does not fully convey the atmosphere of this place.
The Stonehenge we see today is the end result of several episodes of construction, after an intervening 4000 years of destruction and decay. By 1740, when the earliest accurate plan drawn, many stones had already fallen and some had been removed from the site, probably for use as building materials. A stone of the sarsen circle fell in 1900, and ... nomen omen follow Wikipedia ,,1900 (MCM) was an exceptional common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar, the 1900th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 900th year of the 2nd millennium, the 100th and last year of the 19th century (...)''
Can you add something?
1900 led to the first restoration project, when the tallest stone which was leaning dangerously, was set upright. Further work undertaken in 1919-20, 1959 and 1964 re-erected all the stones that had fallen since 1740.
Today Stonehenge which is evocative place drawing more than one milion of visitors who come here to celebrate the summer solstice and marvel. I am among them and this is truly captivating site.