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Visit the Boyne Valley Visitor Centre to learn about the burial tombs of Newgrange and Knowth, both of which are over 5,000 years old and visit one of the tombs. Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however, Newgrange is now recognised to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.
The Great Mound at Knowth is similar in size to Newgrange and is surrounded by 18 smaller satellite mounds.
Just thought I would drop you a line or two following our trip to Ireland and our CIE tour (Taste of Ireland Sept. 8 to 13th 2008)
We had the most wonderful driver, Harry Crofton on our trip. He was not only personable, charming (and very handsome,) but his knowledge of the history of Ireland and his general sense of pride in the country and its achievements was most impressive. Everyone on that bus was ‘educated’ in such a wonderfully positive way, it helped us all forget the terrible weather outside! Nothing Harry could have done about that.
I thought the tour was very worthwhile, marvelous accommodations, terrific food and amiable hosts. An unexpected visit to Jameson’s where my husband was chosen as a taster was a nice surprise.
I would certainly recommend this Taste of Ireland to anyone with limited time to spend. I was very impressed with the new and improved Ireland, lovely roads, food and accommodations. Unbelievably expensive though, but for our part, well worth it.
I did phone Paul O’Neil in CIE Dublin to tell him how much we had enjoyed Harry Crofton, but thought it would do no harm to mention it to you as well. If there are commendations out there, Harry should get one.
Thanks Liz for all your help in setting up this trip. Now if I could just get rid of the jet lag I would be fine!
Take care and may you enjoy the golden colours of Autumn in Ireland
Pat & Chuck Benedict, Calgary, Alberta