Stonehenge is a circular stone monument near Salisbury in southern England. It was probably built at the beginning of the Bronze Age, around 3000 BC. The oldest part of the complex consisted of a circular mound and ditch. The stones, which make the monument so famous until today, were added some centuries later.
Stonehenge consists of two different types of rock: the volcanic bluestone and the sarsen stone, a hard sandstone. The stones sometimes had to be transported very long distances to the site. The largest of them were up to 7 metres high and weighed up to 45 tons. The transport was therefore a very arduous job. Researchers suspect that in those days people used sledges made of tree trunks for transporting the stones. The monument had a very closed character. A total of over 170 stones were used and placed in several large circles. In the interior, large stones were arranged in a horseshoe shape. Within the horseshoe was an altar stone. This allows the conclusion that the monument was used for ritual purposes.
Many different theories and legends surround the function of Stonehenge. There are no detailed findings. The monument is often referred to as a Druid sanctuary. But the era of the English Druids only began after the construction of the monument. Stonehenge is also said to have played a role in the famous Arthurian legend. In it, it is reported that the wizard Merlin had the stones brought from Ireland to England, because they were supposed to have healing powers. It is also assumed that the stone information served astronomical purposes, for example the determination of moon phases, with which sowing and harvest times could be calculated. To this day, Stonehenge attracts many visitors during the summer and winter solstice.
Nowadays only a small part of the entire complex can still be seen. The horseshoe and one of the inner circles can still be identified. This model shows Stonehenge as it presumably once appeared.