Stonehenge is one of the most magnificent and mysterious megalithic monuments in the world. Built over a period that may have been as long as two thousand years, beginning as much as five thousand years ago, these incredible stones standing in the English countryside have inspired scientists, artists, religious seekers, and the public alike to visit and try to understand their meaning.
How much of the mystery of this monument do pictures of Stonehenge reveal?
Stonehenge pictures that show the stones under normal conditions are impressive enough. How much more amazing is it when photographers and other artists add the effects of sunrise, sunset, storm clouds and other natural phenomena like in this picture taken at sunset?
As if this isn't enough, inspired by the fantastic monument and possibly by the speculation and stories of how and why it came to be built, many artists have added a multitude of magical effects from their own creativity to these already magnificent structures!
Sunset, Stonehenge by Roy Rainford
The Mystery of Stonehenge
Stonehenge is located on a chalk plateau known as Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire England. With the way the stones are aligned in relation to sunrise and sunset at the solstices, as well as the incredible way the sun shines through the trilithon (meaning "having three stones"), it is no wonder that many have suggested that Stonehenge was built to worship the sun, or for astronomical purposes.
Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England by Peter Adams
The inner structures are suggestive of an altar, with the whole structure functioning as a huge outdoor temple, leading to the interpretation of the monument as a temple where sacrifices were made to the sun, probably at the solstices. However, there is little more than conjecture to support this theory. Despite claims by several scientists that they have "decoded" Stonehenge, the scientific community has come to no agreement on its purpose. So actually it seems that the artists and visionaries have as good, if not better, understanding of the nature of this amazing masterpiece of engineering.
Twilight View of the Famous Ruin of Stonehenge by Richard Nowitz
Stonehenge is a magnificent megalithic monument. Before looking at how or why this amazing monument was constructed, the first thing to realize is that the stones are huge! That's why Stonehenge is called a megalithic monument.
The trilithons, composed of two large vertical stones supporting a third horizontal stone, must have been quite hard to erect!
In this "Twilight View of Stonehenge" above you can see a person in the highlighted trilithon. They look a bit small compared to the stones!
And here you can see a guy posing nicely beside the stones, revealing clearly how large they are!
Pictures of Stonehenge taken from the air reveal the organization of the stones. Although many of the stones have fallen, the outer ring and inner horseshoe are clearly recognizable.
Pictures with the Sun
Photographers and artists have always used the beautiful colors of sunrise and sunset to accentuate the features of landscapes. In the case of Stonehenge, pictures taken at sunrise or sunset produce an amazing atmosphere that conjures a purpose of this monument that goes beyond its physical magnificence.
Stonehenge at Night with Mars in Background by Tomas del Amo
Comet and Stonehenge by John Goldsmith
Alignment with the solstice
The alignment of Stonehenge is such that at the summer solstice the sun rises directly over the heelstone into the center of the monument between the horseshoe of giant trilithons. The stones are also aligned with the setting sun at the winter solstice. While there has been much speculation and argument about the significance of the monument and its connection to astronomy, the alignment of the stones to produce these effect seems unlikely to be simply an accident.
Many have taken photos of Stonehenge at sunrise or sunset, at the summer solstice as well as other times of year. Whatever the original purpose of the monument by those who built it, it is undeniable that Stonehenge pictured with the sun viewed above or through the stones is absolutely impressive.
Featuring other Celestial Bodies
Pictures with the Moon, Mars, and the Hale-Bopp Comet
Stonehenge is usually pictured with the sun, reflecting long-held beliefs that it was built with a solar connection. However, other celestial bodies, such as the Moon, Mars, and the Hale-Bopp Comet, also provide great backdrops for this monument. The picture below brings together the cosmic qualities of other bodies with the mystery of Stonehenge.
Stonehenge Moon by Charles Bowman
Stonehenge in Art
Stonehenge pictures have long been popular in works of art. Beyond simply depicting the incredible monument as it would have been when it was complete, Stonehenge pictures often include atmospheric weather conditions, the impact of sunrise or sunset, and the idea of Stonehenge as a temple used by Druids for celebrations and sacrifices.
Stonehenge is such a mysterious monument, bringing an atmosphere of cosmic proportions to all who view it. No wonder that artists who like to venture into distant dimensions of space or consciousness love to use pictures of Stonehenge in their work!