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Newgrange, Donore, , Ireland

To the north of Dublin, the rural county of Meath and the Boyne Valley comprise an area rich with ancient sites. The best known among these is Newgrange, a 5,000-year-old passage tomb and ancient temple that predates Stonehenge (it’s part of a larger complex called Brú na Bóinne). Every year on December 21—the shortest day of the year—the tomb plays host to a phenomenon straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark: as the sun rises, it pierces a window above the entryway, sending a shaft of light down that illuminates the center of the tomb like a laser beam. Since the site is beyond overrun on the day itself, it’s a better idea to visit some other time and simply watch the video of the event shown at the Visitor Center.

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Newgrange/Brú na Bóinne

To the north of Dublin, the rural county of Meath and the Boyne Valley comprise an area rich with ancient sites. The best known among these is Newgrange, a 5,000-year-old passage tomb and ancient temple that predates Stonehenge (it’s part of a larger complex called Brú na Bóinne). Every year on December 21—the shortest day of the year—the tomb plays host to a phenomenon straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark: as the sun rises, it pierces a window above the entryway, sending a shaft of light down that illuminates the center of the tomb like a laser beam. Since the site is beyond overrun on the day itself, it’s a better idea to visit some other time and simply watch the video of the event shown at the Visitor Center.