The landscape of Ireland is surrounded by spectacular historical sites and monuments of national heritage, from the ruins of the stone age until the world’s largest castles of exceptional luxury.
Photography by sedoglia
Let’s talk a little history, Ireland’s first settlers probably came from northern Britain 9,000 years ago. They went to the River Bann and probably settled at the foot of Mount Sandel, near Coleraine, County Londonderry. Neolithic farmers remained until about 2000 BC, when the Bronze Age began. The first Celts arrived around 500 BC.
When the Christians arrived, they tried to reshape the land of the pagans. Every county has monastic ruins, and the golden age of Christianity in Ireland can be seen in the misty monastery of St. Kevin at Glendalough, County Wicklow, the sixth-century monastic settlement on Devenish, County Fermanagh, and Clonmacnoise in River Shannon.
Historical sites to visit in Ireland:
Megalithic monument Newgrange
Older than the pyramids, the megalithic monument Newgrange in County Meath has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. It was built around 3200BC, and it is a mound which occupies more than 400 meters and is surrounded by 97 stones that mark the site, some of them decorated with megalithic art.
Photography by dusi_bbg
The passage and tomb are designed to be illuminated by the sun during the summer solstice and winter.
In County Tyrone, dating from about 1500BC. The site consists of seven circular stones on which several theories have been proposed, including burials, ceremonial rituals and astronomical observations of lunar events, solar or stellar.
Great Mound at Knowth
The Great Mound at Knowth in County Meath is similar to nearby Newgrange, but was built around 5000 years ago. Access is a guided tour from the Visitor Center Bru na Bóinne, near the town of Conor. The visits are April to October.
Photography by Dave Keeshan
Tower of Kells
This spectacular round tower that was built to protect against the Vikings, still stands, as well as parts of the original monastery, where the Book of Kells was created over a thousand years. The book is housed at Trinity College Dublin.
Navan Fort, County Armagh, was the seat of the Kings of Ulster and the ancient capital of the province. It has a circular earthwork encloses two monuments on top of the hill, a circular mound (funerary monument of the Iron Age) and a large mound. The Navan Centre explains these important monuments and offers visitors information on the varied history of the area.
Irish towns inherited from the past:
Irish towns are ancient monuments themselves. The old, narrow streets of Waterford are a map drawn by the Normans over a thousand years, while Dublin is a Viking site older than Stockholm or Oslo.