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Stonehenge, United Kingdom

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Stonehenge is one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world. It is located in Wiltshire, England. In 1986, Stonehenge was inscribed as a World Heritage Site during the 10th session of the World Heritage Committee which met in Headquarters in Paris, France, on 24-28 November, 1986. The inscription was titled Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, and includes groups of megaliths, called menhirs, whose arrangements are said to have some form of astronomical significance.

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authorshipGuenter Wieschendahl
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Stonehenge on Google Maps Street View

The name Stonehenge comes from two words, "stone" and "henge", which means "hinge", refering to the lintels that hinge on the standing stones. Although the date of its construction is placed at around 3200BC, archaeologists are in agreement that Stonehenge was built in phases before and after that date, over a period that can span as much as 3000 years.

By the turn of the 20th century, the stones were in much disrepair, caused not so much by the elements, but by human wear and tear, as more and more visitors were unrestrained from clambering over them. As a result, many had fallen over or were leaning precariously. Three phases of conservation were put in place to restore the stones, at the very least, to put them back into the position as found on antiquarian documents.

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authorshipKristian H. Resset
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In addition to being a tourist attraction, Stonehenge has also become a pilgrimage site of sorts, attracting neo-druids and those who observe pagan or neo-pagan beliefs. Since the 1870s, Stonehenge has been the site for Druidic practises and rituals, despite the fact that the monument outdates the Iron Age Druidic religion. The continuous intrusion of new age travellers - those espousing new age and/or hippie beliefs - on Stonehenge culminated in the Battle of Beanfield, an incident much remembered for its police brutality against civilians. Since then, ritual use of Stonehenge has been more tightly regulated.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 51 10 44 W 1 49 31 in Wiltshire, England
Inscription Year: 1986
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: I, II, III StonehengeStonehenge
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Visiting Stonehenge

To reach Stonehenge, drive to Amesbury. If you're approaching from London, take the A303 until the Countess roundabout, then continue west. A mile down the road you will be able to see Stonehenge in the distance. Take the next right and then park your car, and walk to Stonehenge.

Entrance fees to reach the stones is £6.60 for adults and £3.30 for children. You are not allowed to reach right to the stones. There is a roped pathway that you have to keep to, and on-site attendants to make sure nobody intrudes. If you want to be right among the stones, contact Stonehenge Guided Tours. If you are coming by trin, the nearest stations are Andover and Salisbury. On the other hand, it may be more practical to join a Stonehenge tour by bus from London.

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