Stonehenge of Notre Dame, Indiana

photo by Michael Bohn, aka digitalbohn, used with permission

Okay, so how did this get by us for so long? Known variously as the Clarke Peace Memorial Fountain, Clarke Memorial Fountain, War Memorial Fountain and Notre Dame’s Stonehenge, this may be the only Stonehenge-referenced sculpture on the campus of a Roman Catholic university. It consists of four huge trilithons and five fountains, one for each trilithon and one rising from the sphere at the center of the monument. The taker of the photos toward the bottom of this post, a man we know only as John and by his Flickr name, Imazing, tells us, “This center fountain crashes down onto the sphere, creating a beautiful effect, especially during the night time when it is lit up.” You can see it here. Amazing photo!

The proportions of the trilithons echo the architecture of the Theodore M. Hesburgh Library which stands behind it, as you can see in the same picture.  As an interesting aside, another side of the library , seen on the left, displays a huge mural that depicts Jesus, the central figure in Christianity, teaching. Around Notre Dame, a school known for its American football team, this mural is affectionately known as Touchdown Jesus because his arms are in the position used by referees to signal a successful goal, or “touchdown” in American football.

On this page we find this paragraph about the fountain, “A survey published in a recent edition of The Dome revealed that 68 percent of Notre Dame’s senior class had run through the waters of Clarke Memorial Fountain at least one time. Certainly an even larger percentage has gravitated here to study, socialize, and even dance in the shadow of this campus landmark. Perhaps the lure of the fountain lies in the hauntingly timeless appeal of its mammoth form, which noted New York architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee (Notre Dame class of 1956) purposely designed to mimic the mystical, monolithic monuments built in Britain during the Bronze Age. Not surprisingly, its nickname is Stonehenge.

Okay, yes, as you point out, you pedant, surely they mean megalithic rather than monolithic here. But it does show that the sculptors did have Stonehenge in mind, not the case, we’re told, about the campus sculpture commonly called Stonehenge at the University of California at San Diego. We must say it does have a nice looming effect. We like it much more than the Rolla Stonehenge at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. That one is more functional, though, while this is just, well, art. There’s something very robotic about that Rolla unit.

We found this Stonehenge, by the way, while browsing the Stonehenge page of a website on Peace Monuments Around the World. Thanks to them for that and for linking to us! There is more information and many more pictures of this monument on the Historical Marker Database.

The monument at night, photo used by permission

As for score: 6½ druids, which is what we gave to Rolla. We’re pleased to be adding another campus Stonehenge, another Stonehenge fountain and another to our list of Large Permanent Replicas, all at once! Who knows what further henging delights may be lurking out there?

Hope you’re enjoying the summer, or winter if you’re in the–heh–lower hemisphere! ;-)  Happy henging!

Third photo by Imazing, used with permission. Touchdown Jesus photo is in the public domain.

Solstice on the Interwebs

from video of Stonehenge Midsummer Sunrise Simulation

Well, it will be summer solstice on Monday and where do you plan to be to see it in? Oh, we know you would like to be at Stonehenge, just you and a few good friends, but what if you can’t get there or if you just don’t care to share it with the circus that takes place there every year? As with everything but dinner and the loo, the internet has the answer! Why not visit Stonehenge virtually or in a video?

Surprisingly, we haven’t been able to find a virtual Stonehenge with a real-time summer sunrise simulation. Neither have we found a video showing the midsummer sun rising at Stonehenge itself, but that is less surprising. If the experience of those gathering there over the years is a guide, then perhaps Stonehenge was built to observe rain and cloud cover rather than the sun at all!

It burns us a little to have to admit that the best-known virtual Stonehenge we’ve found is that on the Heritage Key site. Clonehenge had an unpleasant run-in with them a while back and it left a bitter taste. Still, credit where it is due! You can see a video of their virtual Stonehenge here. (Sorry about that fellow’s accent. There should be a computer application that replaces the voice of anyone talking about Stonehenge with that of David Tenant in best Doctor form!) To access the real virtual Heritage Key Stonehenge, though, you have to sign up at the Heritage Key website.

When you do, Prad Patel, a pleasant member of the staff there tells us: “Stonehenge Virtual always has a summer solstice going on. Unfortunately we can’t make a sunrise happen in real time (yet!) but we’re planning to have a party [for summer solstice] regardless! Have a happy Solstice!” We wish we’d dealt with him the first time!

There is a Stonehenge midsummer sunrise simulation by someone else here.  And a brilliant flythrough of the Stonehenge landscape at this link. Still another video, here, takes us through the monument. There are any number of virtual Stonehenges, but no webcams, unless you count the notorious Dead Bunny Cam!

We hope that eventually virtual models will more faithfully reproduce the true shapes of the stones. Laser scans of some of the stones are already available. When completed they will allow virtual builders to get closer to simulating the true experience. Meanwhile, here’s a sample of what they have so far.

As long as we’re listing, here’s another view of Stonehenge from the inside, presented by BritishTours.com. You need to be running Quicktime, but we like being able to control it, moving up and down, fast and slow. Of course that one’s not virtual but camera-generated, but it’s still a good substitute for the arm chair, or more likely couch, solstice observer. Beat your drum or sacrifice your virgin in the privacy of your own home!

But wait, we hear you say, don’t end this post without showing us the worst Stonehenge video you found! It’s funny you should ask. We have just the thing! The title is Second Life–Spirit Stonehenge, and we can only guess that it is an amalgam of every even remotely Stonehenge-ish thing on SL. We won’t describe it in detail, just do try to hang in there to see Gollum and a dinosaur near the end. Wow!

There are more, plenty more, videos and simulations of Stonehenge out there. Stonehenge is the Lady Gaga, the Justin Bieber of megaliths. We’re almost certain that the famous Pete Glastonbury did a brilliant panorama from inside Stonehenge and we hope he will give us a link to it in the comments.*

But this post is way too long already and you have better things to do this midsummer than to sit here reading Clonehenge. So we part with a link to a lovely still of an anomalous midsummer sunrise, one in which the sun was visible from that old grey pile of rocks. Scroll down and there is a troupe of druids. They must have had some powerful bleach back there in prehistory!

We at Clonehenge wish you a wonderful solstice and a beautiful summer. Remember, if you want to be at Stonehenge, you can always make your own. Happy henging!

*Turns out that British Tours one is his.

Clonehenge Field Trip to—Cleveland?!

Our own photos

We took a holiday to Ohio to visit–ahem–a close relative, and while there we took a detour to the Tremont section of Cleveland to eat at the mildly famous Lucky’s Cafe. The youngest member of our party was carrying an iPhone and we asked him to bring up our post on Tremont Henge. He did, then found another photo of it, from which he was able to determine a nearby intersection, then in a moment we were looking at an aerial view on a map site. Technology is powerful. And maybe that cafe is lucky!

When we finished our meal, we walked the few blocks to the intersection, and there it was! Tremont Henge, just like in the pictures. Of course Yours Truly had to pose for a picture.

We were tempted to knock on the door to see if we could meet the hengers and learn their motivations, but hard as it may be to believe, Clonehenge is not yet a household word. We didn’t want to make them feel their henge was going to be a source of hassles and interruptions, and risk causing them to dismantle it. So we let them be.

It’s a nice little hengy lawn piece. Despite its lack of heft, it has a solid megalithic feel. It’s an easy henge to like.

Readers, if you know of any other little henges like this, please send them in! Well, not the whole henge, of course, just pictures and as much information as you can get.  And Tremont hengers, if you’re out there, we would love to hear your story!

We walked around Tremont and were impressed with its funky, fun atmosphere. We could enjoy living there. Of course it could  use more henges! But that goes without saying. Parts of Cleveland clearly do rock!

Our thanks to @jwisser for his guidance to the site and to @hombredepan for taking my picture, chauffeur service and the meal!

Hmmm . . . what henge is next?

Note: You can also see Tremont Henge on Google Street View, here.