A couple weekends ago, I was able to take a train down south with a friend to visit one of the best known ancient wonders of the world – Stonehenge! Before coming to England, this was one of my bucket list items to see. As I soon discovered, this prehistoric site gets mixed reactions among the locals. Some see it as just a formation of rocks, others see it as one of the greatest prehistoric mysteries known to mankind. To be honest, before visiting, I didn’t know too much about this wonder except the grand mystery and significance behind it. After spending the day touring and absorbing the wealth of history, I can say that it was hard to wrap my head around what I was standing in front of.
There is so much of the UK and Europe that is easily accessible through train travel, and I was able to see the beautiful countryside lying south of the city. The morning was overcast and gloomy but right when we arrived, the weather conveniently cleared up and it made for the most beautiful fall day. Clear blue skies, mid 60s, and a tolerable amount of other tourists.
The historical landmark was virtually in the middle of nowhere, which added onto the mystical wonder of the site. As it is to be believed that this site was built around 2500 BC, this surpasses other well-known ancient sites (Ancient Rome, Pyramids of Giza, Machu Picchu) which put it into perspective for me. The well-known stones that make up the landmark were believed to have come all the way from Wales. Thinking of the effort that was put forth to drag these stones across the water and to a location where no known civilization was discovered is an amazing feature of craftsmanship and ingenuity for that time period. A fun fact that I learned on my visit was that this ancient wonder was actually privately owned by a wealthy man until passing it into public ownership in 1918 as a deed of gift.
To this day, the purpose of Stonehenge remains a mystery. One of the aspects about it that keeps people mystified by its wonder. As it contains over 150 burial sites below the surface, historians suggest that significant people from this time period were buried here. A site for royal burial ground, human sacrifice, and a place to predict eclipses are justifiable conclusions that have been made from historians to understand the significance of this place. However, I don’t think one will ever truly know the real purpose of this ancient landmark; a trait that leaves millions of people coming to get a glimpse of its natural wonder.