Jörg Sorge’s Concrete Stonehenge in Magdeburg: “Inside I Am a Celt”!

Photo copyright Dennis Kotzian, used with permission

 

A translation from German of the original caption of this photo reads:

Stonehenge in Magdeburg

During a walk around the Salbker Lake, you can see a replica of Stonehenge, which is the stone circle cult site of the Celts in southern England.

Stone mason Jörg Sorge from Magdeburg has built this on his property.”

There is so much to unpack here.

For one thing, a little research makes it clear that although he is a stone mason, Sorge has fashioned these ‘stones’ out of concrete, texturing and painting them to resemble stone. A lot of time and creativity, and so presumably love and enthusiasm, has gone into this.

And then of course there is the whole Celtic thing, which we learn more about in another article, where Sorge, who plays the bagpipe and sometimes wears a kilt, asserts that “inside i am a Celt”. In one article, featuring a picture of him in said kilt, standing in his Stonehenge, we read:

The culture of the rugged Scottish highlands has fascinated Jörg Sorge for years. He has long felt like a Celt, last summer he also fulfilled the dream of Stonehenge. Now the replica of the Bronze Age stone circle stands in his garden and serves as a backdrop to the Celtic Fire Festival.

Copyright Dennis Kotzian, used with permission

Well, we’ll allow them the Bronze Age bit. Stonehenge was started and much work was done long before that, but the stone circle the replica depicts does seem to have been completed in the Bronze Age. Certainly the dagger art on the stones dates to that time.

But by all accounts, whether ‘Celtic’ culture (no, we’re not going to enter the discussion of whether the term Celtic itself is so broad as to be almost meaningless, an attempt to lump together too many diverse smaller groupings–such discussions are for serious people and we just ain’t one of them, thank whatever gods there be!) washed in like a tide over peoples already in Britain or if it arrived along with new groups of people landing on the island from the continent, it had not yet arrived when Stonehenge was completed. Of that we can be sure. There is certainly no evidence of kilts and bagpipes in any burial in the area of Stonehenge, then or since!

But luckily, Stonehenge replicas are just for fun, and far be it from us to discourage people from championing their inner Celt, whatever they fancy that means, or their inner Viking, or their inner Elf or Ent for that matter. It is useful to explore what has meaning for you, however outlandish it might seem to others. We may find real hidden parts of ourselves by starting with fanciful things we’re drawn to. We at Clonehenge have seen it happen.

This replica that Sorge has built from his inner inspiration and by the work of his own hands has already brought delight to other people, like those who attended the Celtic Fire Festival, and it is certainly worthy of inclusion on our list of large permanent replicas. Well done,sir, say we!

Let this be a lesson to us all, Gentle Readers, and let us not fear to pursue or more whimsical inclinations, regardless of what others think of them. They may turn out to be a way to enhance not only our lives but the lives of others, and encourage them to be more free as well.

So until next time (which may well be after the official Clonehenge trip to Stonehenge and environs!*), dear friends, happy henging!

*if you are at Stonehenge equinox access on the morning of the 23rd, we may see you there!

Stonehenge at the Bao Dai Waterfall Park, Our First in Vietnam! (But y tho?)

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Photo by Attila Kovácsics, used with permission.

To be honest, we don’t know much about it.

When was it built?

Why was it built?

Who built it?

We would love to know!* But for now we just know that this Stonehenge exists in Dalat, in Vietnam’s central highlands, and it is on the grounds of a park that was created because of gorgeous waterfalls there.

We do know that, although the stone shapes are way off, there is a three-lintel stretch and the inner trilithons are taller than the outer circle. So bravo to someone! A few things right is better than none. And it is another for our list of Large Permanent Replicas, which is now up to 90, and could soon be 91, pending information on a Stonehenge sculpture in Kansas.

What makes someone build a Stonehenge replica in a park in Vietnam? That is just part of the mystery that keeps us in a state of wonder here at Clonehenge headquarters!

We have more posts coming up for you. One is about a Stonehenge replica in Magdeburg Germany, built by a man who is enthusiastic about Scottish culture. We have seen a picture of him wearing a kilt and standing inside his Stonehenge. So that’s fun, isn’t it?

And we have another long-ish interview post, this time with a historian who has a unique perspective on Stonehenge and the proliferation of Stonehenge replicas.

In the meantime, follow @Clonehenge on Twitter, or join the Facebook group or page to keep up with frequent postings of henges large and small, or to send us henge photos of your own!

And until next time, Gentle Readers, thank you and happy henging!

*If you have any information on this henge, please comment below or send it to nancy at clonehenge.com .

The Eternal and the Momentary—the Trilithon Fountain of Lanjaron, Spain!

trilithon fountain,  photo from the Lanjaron website

trilithon fountain, photo from the Lanjaron website

There are a few Stonehenge-like sculptures and fountains scattered around the cities of the world, but we hadn’t heard of this one until Mr. Dean Travchav Phillips posted it in the Clonehenge Facebook group. Nice find, we must say! Happily, this brings us to 80 large permanent replicas, and you know what that means, right? It means you live on a planet with an incredible number of Stonehenge-obsessed maniacs! What could be more fun??

We know little about this fountain except that it’s in the center square of Lanjaron in southern Spain, and the name of the sculptor is Ramiro Megías. There is a page about the inauguration of the sculpture/fountain here. Its title is something like Living Fountain, or Fountain of Life, and it is meant to bring together the timelessness of the stone with the moving waters and figures of children, along with the old couple who seem to exemplify lasting love. See a photo from another angle here.

The timeless and the momentary—that’s what we’re all about here at the Clonehenge blog: the timelessness of Stonehenge and the fleeting moment of enjoying that Stonehenge cake; the eternity it takes us to get around to doing a new post and the seconds it takes you to read it and forget it. It’s the balance of life.

Trilithons in a way represent balance, the two sides supporting the lintel evenly to create a structure that has an impact greater than its parts. Maybe that’s part of why people all over the world build Stonehenge replicas. We have records of large permanent Stonehenge replicas on every continent. Wherever modern man goes, Stonehenges follow. It’s a strange phenomenon. Someone should write about it!

We did discover one distressing thing, however. We were looking at available emoji for our iPad keyboard and what did we discover but—AN EASTER ISLAND HEAD!!! No Stonehenge emoji, but they have an Easter Island head (aka moai)? Who ARE these people? We have to find some way to demonstrate that Stonehenge replicas are way more prevalent around the world and in the human psyche than moai. And also get a Stonehenge emoji added to the lexicon, so to speak. Whom do we contact? This needs to happen, and soon!

Luckily, we never lose our focus and wander off topic.

So, until next time, then, henge nerds, happy henging!  (And hang onto your henging hats—because some unprecedented and really fun henging news could be in the offing, taking henging to a whole new level! Stay tuned.)

Now You Can Live Near Stonehenge—in China!

Stonehenge replica at Hefei, China  (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Stonehenge replica at Hefei, China (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

This is a new (to us) large permanent replica: number 79 for our list! We thank Hengefinder Extraordinaire Pete Glastonbury for finding it for us—and it’s a good one! This remarkable replica is in the Chinese town of Hefei, associated with a housing development. Hey, who wouldn’t want to live there???

Hefei Stonehenge with high rise backdrop (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Hefei Stonehenge with high rise backdrop (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

We have posted Chinese replicas in the past, small ones in those parks that are so popular there, with replicas of famous buildings from all over the world. They tend to be unusually well done, sometimes actually resembling Stonehenge itself, something that, oddly, is not that common among Stonehenge replicas.But this has them all beat. If only we knew who designed it, who built it, whose idea it was in the first place, whether it aligns with the sun’s movements, and what it’s made of. But no.

So this is brief. Score: 8 druids! Very well done! The sheer variety of Stonehenge replicas and reasons to build them continues to amaze us. Oh, the humanity! What even are we? Is Stonehenge building the true meaning of life? [hint: But, of course!]

Until next time, friends (and it may not be so long this time), happy henging!

The Henge on a Hill off Longhollow Road: It’s a Mystery!

Photo of the Longhollow Road replica, by Karl J Mohr, used with permission

Photo of the Longhollow Road replica, by Karl J Mohr, used with permission

Happy October and welcome! When we last left the state of Illinois (almost five years ago!), it was boasting a single, rather idiosyncratic Stonehenge replica not far outside Chicago at a paragliding and flight field. That one has since gone to new owners and for all we know may no longer be there.

Illinois was chugging along with that large replica and one or two smaller museum replicas, and then in late winter or early spring of this year we heard from a fellow named Chad Delhotal, who said,

There is a fairly large stone replica of Stonehenge on a road (could be Longhollow Rd) just north of Rt 20 between the towns of Galena and Elizabeth in northwestern Illinois. No mention of this anywhere, but it’s there.

He sent us a link to a site that included this photo, and then managed to get us the coordinates so we could find it on Google Maps. We sat back and stared. It is rare for us to hear about a full-sized United States replica that is in plain site these days. We thought we had them all, dammit!

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Megalithic thingie in Galena Illinois

It was suspicious. When a new Stonehenge replica shows up, there is invariably an article about it in the local or regional newspaper. It’s the kind of wacky thing papers love to put in the lifestyle section, and usually henge builders like to show their henges off. There was nothing at all online about this, although there seems to be some other megalithic structure/thingie in the car park of the Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel in nearby Galena, Illinois.

We added the new henge to our List of Large Permanent Replicas and sat back, hoping for more information to roll in. Surely the Clonehenge Faithful (an imaginary fan club we talk to a lot when no one’s around) would get us more information! Right? Months went by and nothing,. Nothing, we tell you! A maddening silence of epic proportions. Dammit, humanity, you had ONE job!

Then six months later we received this email from a Karl Mohr (surely a pseudonym or maybe an acronym—let’s see…Keeping A Replica Lost…, well, maybe not.). The email said,

I was at a scenic overlook area near Elizabeth, IL and saw a Stonehenge type of structure about 2 miles in the distance (It was barely visible to the naked eye – I caught it thru my 300mm zoom lens). I decided to drive there and snap a few shots from the road. I’d be willing to share them if you’re interested.

Aerial view from Google Maps

Aerial view from Google Maps

We were interested, and one of his brilliant photos is at the top of his post, another below. BUT the mystery remains. We have scoured maps and done searches, but we can’t even find the names of the people who live in the house closest to the replica, surely the first suspects we would like to interrogate. We don’t know when this henge was built, who built it, why it was built, or what it’s made of.

We can see from the aerial view that it consists of the sarsen ring and an inner trilithon horseshoe. It appears to be large, if not full-sized, and fairly new but not brand new, judging from the lack of a visible road by which the stones may have been hauled there.

Of course, the stones could have been lowered by alien space ships, but our doctor tells us not to think about things like that these days!

Someone has gone to the trouble of planning and building this Stonehenge replica in rural Illinois without seeking the spotlight, without any major news outlets picking it up, and without advertising. Why? Questions abound, my friends! But we have, alas, no answers, the definition of a mystery.

As for a score, hard to say, but it looks very nice. We award it a tentative 7 druids! For size and looks, mostly, and a little extra for the whole mystery going on.

If any of you live or visit nearby, please ask around for us and find out what the locals know! Why would you build a huge Stonehenge replica and not tell anyone about it? The force of the Stonehenge-building urge never fails to amaze.

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Photo by Karl Mohr, used with permission

Keep reporting those replicas, large and small. And until next time, friends, happy henging!

 

Esperance Update

Latest news on the Esperance, Australia Stonehenge replica including a video with the Beales discussing it can be seen here.

In the video, Jillian Beale, one of the builder/proprietors,  says that some visitors had recently been to Stonehenge in England and “said it was a pile of old rocks. They’d paid seventeen pounds and it was rubbish. And in my book he’s written ‘It’s brilliant. Better than the original!’ ” Worth a watch.

Meanwhile we’re still fretting over whether lintels will ever appear on the outer circle.