The prehistoric ruins of Brú Na Bóinne in County Meath, Ireland is definitely one of the places that should be on the top of the itinerary during an Irish vacation.
Loosely translated, Brú Na Bóinne means Palace of the Boyne. The Boyne is the river that flows in this area of County Meath. The importance of the Brú Na Bóinne Megalithic ruins can be indicated by the fact that they have been given World Heritage Site status.
An architectural heritage of stone and a prehistoric past
Architecturally, the site contains various structures made of grey stone. The structures include Neolithic graves, henges, standing stones as well as other prehistoric installations. The area is spread over a massive 780 hectares. It is interesting to note that these structures were built between 35th century BC and 32nd century BC! These are perhaps the oldest structures in Europe. History would suggest that some of these structures were used as graves and others as scientific and astronomical instruments. Flint tools used by Mesolithic humans have also been found in the area, indicating that it had also been used before Neolithic times.
Must-visit areas in the Brú Na Bóinne ruins
You have to take a guided tour from the Brú Na Bóinne visitor center, which is required for all visitors. From here, groups of visitors are taken to the different ruins. The visitor center itself has exhibitions on artifacts found in the ruins, so you must see that before embarking on your tour of the ruins themselves. A friendly guide will also answer all your questions about the ruins during your tour of the complex.
One should definitely visit the Knowth passage tomb. This is the biggest tomb in the complex, and is surrounded by 127 kerbstones. The eastern passage is the accessible part of the tomb, which would be included in your tour. Next comes the Newgrange mound and passage tomb. This is the second biggest tomb in Brú Na Bóinne, and is also the central mound. It is dotted with abstract Neolithic stone art. The third tomb in the complex is the Dowth tomb. It has a long passage which is crossed by three huge sill stones. Once you are back from your tour, enjoy the drive back through the Boyne valley. It offers absolutely stunning views.
A tour of Brú Na Bóinne in Ireland will really make you appreciate the way humans lived in Neolithic times. The tour will also amaze you by revealing the insights prehistoric humans had about astronomy and science.