Europe is littered with ruins; dating back to thousands of years, these ruins are a part of the Prehistoric cultures that existed millennia ago. As old as civilization, these imposing structures have seemingly survived the ravage of time and nature.
These megaliths which are some of the oldest structures in Europe have been beautifully preserved and provide very interesting sights to see, thanks to the efforts of the people. It takes more than pictures to understand how long they have been standing, and how long they will remain.
List of the oldest structures in Europe
1. West Kennet Long Barrow, England
The west Kenneth long barrow is a burial chamber over 5000 years old. It is located in south west England and was built around 3650 B.C. It was in use for atleast 1000 years. It is one of the oldest constructions in Europe.
2. Listoghil, Ireland
Also known as carrowmore 51, it is part of the Carrowmore group of megaliths. Carrowmore is an assembly of passage tombs; they are located in northern part of Ireland and were built in 4th millennium B.C. Listoghil is the focal point of Carrowmore.
3. La Hougue Bie, Jersey
La hougue bie is a passage tomb located in the island of Jersey off the coast of Normandy. Hougue has its origin in an Old Norse word meaning mound. The monument serves the function of passage graves as well as ceremonial sites. Its unique design allows sun rays to reach the deepest parts on solstice. It was around 3500 B.C., making it one of the oldest structures in Europe.
4. Midhowe Chambered Cairn, Scotland
Cairns are typically memorials built atop hills, in this case a burial structure. The midhowe chambered cairn is located in the island of Rousay in the northernmost parts of Scotland. The Midhowe is sheltered from disrepair by a hangar. It was built around 3500 B.C.
5. Wayland’s Smithy, England
Another Neolithic structure built around 3600 B.C., Wayland’s Smithy is located in Oxforshire in England. It is quite popular and has been featured in movies and books, like in Rudyard Kipling’s “Puck of Pook’s Hill”. It is associated with an Old Germanic god revered around the time the local communities began an agricultural lifestyle.
6. Hulbjerg Jættestue, Denmark
Hulbjerg Jættestue means Hulbjerg Passage Grave in Danish. It was built around 3300 B.C. and is one of the oldest structure of Europe. It is a large circular mound, a product of the Neolithic culture that existed in the island of Langeland, Denmark.
7. Monte d’Accoddi, Sardinia, Italy
The Monte d’Accoddi is an intriguing monument in the island of Sardinia. Unlike the other constructions, Monte d’Accoddi is a temple, supposedly of Mesopotemian origin. These temples are called ziqqurat and are devoted to the worship of sun. They are large, pyramid shaped with a flat top that serves as the altar. It is believed to have been constructed in 4000 B.C. in different phases ending in 3600 B.C.
There are many other structures in the world that rival the ones we have in this list. In Asia, Americas, Africa, there are marvels that still stand today, just as old if not older. But common in all of them is that they were shaped by human hand and had survived while everything else fell to ruin.
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