This part of the country boast a dramatic history. Many peoples have left their marks: you'll find prehistoric monuments, early Christian monasteries, Norman castles–and all just a few miles apart from each other.
New Grange is one of the most spectacular prehistoric monuments in Europe. This neolithic passage grave was built around 3000 B.C. You have to walk along a 24 metres passageway until you come to the chamber. The grave is now lit by electric lights but usually it's pitch-dark inside. The special thing about this grave is that only once per year, at the winter solstice, the rays of the rising sun fall into the passageway and light the chamber for about 20 minutes.
The hill of Tara used to be the palace of the Celtic high kings. It is said that Saint Patrick came to this place to challenge the king's druids who wanted to prove that they were more powerful than Patrick's god. But King Laoghaire (say: Leery) was so impressed by the wonders Patrick fulfilled that he himself converted to Christianity.
Book of Kells
Kells is one of the early Christian monastic complexes in Ireland. The place is famous for the »Book of Kells« which was found in the ruins of the monastery. The book contains the hand-written and perfectly illustrated four Gospels and is now kept in Trinity College Library in Dublin.
In Kells you can see a Round Tower, a High Cross and the house of St. Colmcille who once was a priest in the monastery.
From the fifth century to 1142, Monasterboice was an important monastery. Today you can visit the ruins of the monastery with a Round Tower and two High Crosses which are amongst the best preserved ones in Ireland. High Crosses were used to demonstrate scenes from the bible, and the High Crosses in Monasterboice tell stories of the Old and the New Testament.