This is a bit different from the other posts on my blog because this is not a church or cathedral. Stonehenge being one of the most visited and famous landmarks in the world, used to be a temple for centuries (and it still is for some people) and that’s the main reason for the inclusion for my religious-themed blog. I had the chance to visit the landmark on my way to Cornwall and Devon. It’s about an hour drive from London and really close to Salisbury. After being stuck in a traffic jam right outside the site, we arrived to Stonehenge with a minor delay and took our audio guides and started exploring this monument.
The radiocarbon dating which was done in 2008 suggested that this monument was constructed as early as 2400 BC, it is definitely one of the oldest sites of worship in the world. Walking around it, looking at it and thinking about all the people who built it and worshiped for centuries sends shivers down the spine.
The landmark consists of two parts, an inner circle and an outer circle. Theories suggest that the surrounding circle was built centuries before the inner circle. Scientists know that Stonehenge was destroyed and rebuilt at least 7 times in the history. Why were people so keen on building this monument over and over again, what was its significance, it’s still not known. One thing is known for sure, there are several hundred burial mounds on the site and people were definitely using this site for their Pagan worships.
Stonehenge was re-popularized by the worship activities of Neo-druids in the early 70s. These people had an ideology and belief which included respecting the nature and worshiping the harmony and greatness of its essence. They gathered at Stonehenge during Winter and Summer solstices and performed their rituals. The site was also the stage of a free festival which was a celebration of different alternative cultures. Nowadays Stonehenge is under a lot of security and admission is charged. This is probably good for the preservation of this historic monument.
Visiting Stonehenge and exploring Salisbury (including the cathedral) would be a great day trip. Although this is a very touristy place and get super crowded, it is definitely worth paying a visit. Adult £7.80, Students £7.