Sad news: one of the Stonehenge sculptures we had been planning to put on our large permanent list was dismantled in January. The sculpture, in Kharkiv, Ukraine and entitled Scythian Heritage, included a Stonehenge-like sculpture of concrete blocks, some marked with symbols, and a few stylised human figures in imitation of ancient Scythian statues. On the 4th of January the Kharkiv city government without notifying the sculptor, Eugene Kulik, had the sculpture dismantled. The artist was not even told where the pieces were taken. :’-(
You can see a short video walk-through taken about a week before its sudden disappearance at this link from @rtplaysocial on Instagram.
We’re always sorry to see a Stonehenge go! And it may be a while before anyone in Ukraine is thinking about building Stonehenges again. Best wishes to everyone there.
A new addition to our list of 100 Large Permanent Replicas (which is soon to be removed to a better url)! In the western end of Hungary, not far from Lake Balaton, is a basalt mining area that includes Zalahaláp Mountain (whose correct name may possibly be Haláp Mountain—Hungarian is not one of our languages). So much stone was removed during the 20th century mining years, which included World War I and World War II, that the former volcano which once rose to 358 meters now measures only 291 meters and is flat on top except for a rock cliff on one side. The mountain experienced some basalt mining during Roman times too.
An educational trail highlighting the history and natural features of the place now takes hikers to the flat space and on up to the highest point. A popular feature of the trail is the Awakening Volcano Sculpture Park, a set of sculptures made from the basalt of the mountain and commemorating the mines and the people who worked in them. And of course we wouldn’t be talking about it if there weren’t a trilithon or two involved!
We first started seeing the trilithons on Instagram a while ago when we did our daily Stonehenge searches, as they are often tagged #Stonehenge, but it took a while for us to learn the story behind them. One of the pleasing aspects of what we do is that every Stonehenge has an interesting story and a creative person or people behind it. In this case the sculptors are Rhea Marmentini and Zoltán Balanyi. The sculpture park and educational trail were just finished in 2019.
What prompted the sculptors to include trilithons among their mountain top sculptures? We would love to know. They certainly seem to create an Instagrammable view with the backdrop of the broad green landscape reaching to other mountains in the far distance. These are known as the Witness Mountains and of them we read in translation:
“The most beautiful natural values of the Balaton Uplands are the so-called „tanúhegyek” (Witness Mountains) which were given this name because they are witnesses to the pre-historic times.
Several million years ago, the mountains didn’t create a chain but stood alone out of the Pannon-sea. 20 million years ago, when the majority of the area of the country was covered by salty water, a significant volcanic activity took place here, due to which the shapes and forms of today were created.“
So today we learned about Lake Balaton, also known as the Hungarian Sea, which is the largest lake in Central Europe and about the Witness Mountains as well as basalt mining in Hungary. Here at Clonehenge we love that our pursuits take us to new, interesting, and beautiful places and force us to learn new things about the world. We have many more Stonehenges to add to the blog. Who knows what we’ll learn next!
Thank you for stopping in and until next time, friends, happy henging!
Because of Kari Kola’s brilliant Snowhenge we’ve been thinking a lot more about Finland lately. (We can’t really say this is Finland’s day in the sun. We believe that day is in June. Haha. Sorry.) Sadly the wonderful Snowhenge can’t be added to our List of Large Permanent Replicas since before long it will melt, but that doesn’t mean Finland doesn’t make our list at all! Near the border between Finland and Sweden on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia in a park in the city of Kemi stands a granite sculpture modeled after Stonehenge, entitled Stone Age. It was designed by artist and poet Keijo Nevaranta and donated to the city in 1998.
Built roughly on a 1/2 scale of Stonehenge itself, it is oriented to the same directions as the original so that it marks “the sunrise of the summer solstice, the sunrise of the winter solstice, [and] the northernmost and southernmost of the moon” according to Mr. Nevaranta’s blog. He states, “Like Stonehenge, the original idea of ”Stone Age” has been to move something from the spiritual tradition of mankind over time to the end of the second millennium and the following centuries, from the dawn of mankind to perhaps the twilight of mankind.” (A bit ominous but, it must be said, not inappropriate.)
We were curious about how firmly the stones are set into the ground, and we find the artist says, “When I designed the work and applied for a building permit from the City of Kemi, the city representatives were promised a 2,000-year warranty on the work. Yes, it will remain upright in this place for at least as long as Stonehenge, which is at the base of nature. This is better established.” Turns out it has concrete bases for the stones.
From what we have read, the artist devoted 18 months to the design and creation of the work. It was paid for by Ahti Mäntylä, owner of a granite mine who wanted a monument to the Finnish mining industry and to the Elijärvi mine, Finland’s largest mine, not far north of Kemi.
Stone Age stands in a park in Kemi. At one time the park, Ruutinpuisto, was threatened by development, but that threat seems to have passed for now, as some photos of the sculpture are pretty recent.
As for the monument from our point of view, it looks good but a bit in the mode of the Rolla, Missouri Stonehenge, small, without bluestones, and with very straight and even shapes for the stones. The artist says the reason for the straight lines is to create a visual conversation with the city buildings nearby. The inner trilithon horseshoe does face the three-lintel stretch, always a sign that someone’s paying attention. We’re convinced Mr. Nevaranta was paying close attention to Stonehenge as he conceived and created the work.
We were delighted to find this Stonehenge replica in far away Lapland! We first saw it on Twitter in June, in a video posted by @kaukamieli which can be seen here. The caption says, “”Mooooommmm! Let’s go see Stonehenge!” “We have Stonehenge at home.” Stonehenge at home:” He is obviously unimpressed. 😂 https://twitter.com/kaukamieli/status/1410212893451243520?s=20
We will add Mr. Nevaranta’s excellent sculpture to our list of large permanent replicas and hope that no one talks the city council into letting them develop the park and destroy it. We would love to find our way to Finland one day and see it in person! There is one more Stonehenge-ish structure in Finland beside this and the ephemeral Snowhenge. We’ll have to tell you about that one some time!
Have a great weekend, friends, and until next time, happy henging!