Incredible Must See Sacred Places
Image courtesy of Deposit Photos
Still the subject of speculation as to its true reason for existing, Stonehenge, located at Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, is presumed, among other things, to be a sacred place, and is an utter marvel of engineering, given that it was built from solid stone between 3000BC and 2000BC, before humankind possessed any large vehicles for moving such huge monoliths.
The circle of standing stones at Stonehenge vary somewhat in size, and a few have lintels stretching between them, but most are freestanding and measure 4 metres (13 feet) high and 2.1 metres (7 feet) wide. They weigh about 22.7 tonnes (25 tons). How did the ancient people who built Stonehenge get the rocks to the location? This is one of the many mysteries of Stonehenge that continue to draw visitors and modern-day Pagans to this amazing sacred place.
Now designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stonehenge boasts a tourist centre, and has undergone some reconstruction and restoration work for the sake of preservation. At one time, crowds of tourists were so dense, they had to be restricted. People were trying to chip bits of the stones for souvenirs. The site is monitored carefully these days.
What is Stonehenge? Academics continue to speculate and postulate about the origins and purpose(s) of Stonehenge. It is both typical and atypical of a Neolithic monument, and yet bones have been found that prove people came from as far away as present-day Italy (then a major journey) to the site. Here are a few of the educated guesses as to the use of Stonehenge:
- a burial ground
- a temple of worship
- a symbol of peace and unity between perhaps warring ancient tribes
- a form of ancient calendar; the sunset on the winter solstice and sunrise on the summer solstice align between two of the rocks
- a place of healing (which could explain the copious number of bones; doctoring was guesswork back then)
- a possible winter home for the locals
- a ritual path from life to death for the old or dying (what remains is not all that was on the site initially)
Given all those options, it is also possible that Stonehenge was built for one reason and then “repurposed” over its 5,000-year life. Indeed, it is the mystery of Stonehenge that keeps it at the forefront of amazing sacred places on earth.