Monasterboice, Knowth, Newgrange, Trim Castle - June 9th, 2012

This was our last day in Ireland, and it turned out to be a memorable one - I really was impressed by the Neolithic tombs at Newgrange. But our first stop was the famous High Crosses at Monasterboice. These crosses were designed to teach Bible stories to illiterate farmers. Back when they were freshly carved (and painted?), these High Crosses must have been dramatic illustrations of church teachings. They are still impressive today. I wish we could have climbed in the Round Tower - I would have liked to go up in one of those tall buildings while we were here in Ireland.

Newgrange has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique and ancient significance. Once again, upon seeing these old structures built thousands of years ago, I marvelled at all the human labor that must have been involved to build these giant tombs. Lots of planning was needed to move tons of large stones over great distances, and this task must have taken years to reach completion. The astronomical and engineering knowledge needed to line up the roofbox so that the sunlight of the rising sun reached into the back of the tomb - it demonstrates how smart and skilled our ancestors were. I really liked that we were allowed into the tomb at Newgrange, and then they turned out the lights and showed us what it would be like to stand there on the morning of Dec 21. Very impressive.

Trim Castle was a classic castle - with walls and towers and a big keep.

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Trim Castle