Stonehenge in Kharkiv, Ukraine Now Gone!

“Scythian Heritage” or Ukrainian Stonehenge, photo by @annimosomnia on Instagram

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.

Rugby Stonehenge? Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka, Japan!

Stonehenge at Osaka, photo by @T0m0yeab0ii on Instagram

Japan has its share of large Stonehenges. We have posted the impressive one at the Gunma Observatory and the glorious one (with Buddhist shrine inside and a line of moai nearby!!!) at Makomanai Takino Cemetery in Sapporo. Here is yet another one, large and handsome, at Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Osaka. We’re guessing the thinking went: “Rugby is English, and what else is English? Stonehenge! We’ll build a Stonehenge!”

At any rate, the construction is suitably rugged in style to match the game. It isn’t a full Stonehenge like the others in Japan, but a bit abstract with several solid trilithons. For the Clonehenge connoisseur it is reminiscent of the exceptional Stonehenge in Odessa, Texas. In one article the Daily Mail captioned their photo with the curious words “Stonehenge-like objects”.

We would love to know more, though. Whose idea was this? What was their thinking? Who designed it? Who built it? Where did the stone come from and what kind is it? Is there a plaque or some kind of dedication? If anyone can give us answers, we would be grateful. photo of Hanazono stadium from Wikipedia, showing a section of the Stonehenge-ish things

In the 12 years we’ve been doing this blog, many new Stonehenges have appeared. We think the form’s popularity is due at least partly to the satisfaction of visiting a sculpture or construction that offers familiarity, simplicity, large size, and the pleasure of being able to interact with it, to actually walk through it. Add the hint of the ancient and of mystery that is associated with even the idea of Stonehenge and you have an attraction that many people will be eager to visit.

It has been suggested that a Stonehenge much like the real one be built near the original Stonehenge, to offer visitors the full experience of the stones without further threatening the ancient monument itself, many aspects of which, despite its rugged appearance, are fragile. As we are among those who have seen firsthand the damage created at Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow by public free access there, we have to agree that a close imitation offering the spacial and tactile experience of the stone circle would in the long run serve the public well.

Future generations would appreciate the preservation of the original and current generations would benefit by the extraordinary experience of walking freely in the circle, feeling the extraordinary ambience the stones create just by their form, size, and positioning. Even better might be two imitation Stonehenges with access, one as the monument stands now and one how it is envisioned to have been if and when it was completed.

But that’s far afield from Hanazono! Blood, sweat and rugby! And Stonehenge! A winning combination.

And until next time, friends, happy henging!

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.)

“Tonehenge” in Massachusetts: Henging Inspiration in the Wake of the Flood!



One of the trilithons with another in the background, photo by permission of Pat

One of the trilithons with another in the background, photo by permission of Pat

Greetings, henge-O-philes! Welcome to another edition of Wow, People Sure Make a Lot of Henges! also known as Clonehenge. Today for your viewing pleasure we journey to Colrain, Massachusetts, where a couple of years ago, in August of 2011, a devastating storm by the name of Irene tore through, wreaking havoc. Among many things that were damaged and destroyed was the beautiful garden of Tony Palumbo and his partner Michael Collins.

Probably everyone here can guess the rest. In an effort to link art and the earth, and to express the grandeur of the place and what had happened to it, they ended up designing a new garden worthy of Clonehenge. This creation, affectionately known as Tonehenge after its designer, Tony, is the 77th addition to our List of Large Permanent Replicas!

For those who have a few minutes to spend, here is a video tour of the new garden. We include this in the post largely because in it Mr. Palumbo says one of our favourite words: trilithon! And you thought we just made that word up, didn’t you?

At just about 3 minutes in, Mr. Palumbo says, “As we look around, we can see the second arch. There’s an actual word for it. I don’t have it right now…trilithon or something. [a few sentences, and then…] And as we look around we see the rest of the Stonehenge area. It’s getting to be known as Tonehenge, but I love Stonehenge…

And there you have it. If any of you wags had doubts about this garden (which is 100 feet across, by the way) belonging in the Clonehenge blog, there is your proof. He loves Stonehenge, which we translate roughly as, ‘Stonehenge has used this man’s feelings and brain to reproduce itself yet again!

The whole story is more involved and interesting than we have room for here. You can read more about it and see more pictures on the Commonweeder blog, whom we thank for photo permission, on Mike and Tony’s own Green Emporium blog, and in this article in the Massachusetts Republican, which was sent to us as an actual newspaper clipping (!!!) by Carolyn Bradley, friend and family of the bloggers here at Clonehenge. (Eventually everyone we know gets sucked in. Stonehenge is very powerful.)

Tony’s vision was brought to fruition by the work and creativity of neighbour and stone artist Paul Forth, who chose the stones with care and made some subsequent creative decisions. May we all have such neighbours when we go to rebuild our gardens!

This is not, in the strictest sense a Stonehenge replica, but, like many others before it, is sort of a Stonehenge sculpture. We don’t always give them druids, but we happen to have a few druids lying around right now, dying for a good home, so, Score: 6 druids for this use of Stonehenge as recovery from disaster and symbol of rebirth. Bravo, gentlemen!

We have more new henges to bring to the table, but all good things take time! Until next time, sweet friends, happy henging!

The Stonehenge Sculptures of Ratko Vulanovic: They Call it Stone Town!

The Ada Stonehenge, aka Gates of Belgrade, photo by paramecijum

The Ada Stonehenge, aka Gates of Belgrade, photo by paramecijum, used with permission

Welcome back, Gentle Readers! Today our continuing tour of Stonehenge-ish things around the world takes us to the historic and beautiful city of Belgrade. The scene above was taken in a park that is on an island in the Sava River as it flows through the city, the island Ada Ciganlija. The official name of the collective sculptures seen here is the Gates of Belgrade, but they’re sometimes called Stone Town or the Ada Stonehenge. Which is where we come in.

From the Real Housewife of Belgrade, with permission

From the Real Housewife of Belgrade, with permission

These sculptures were created by sculptor Ratko Vulanovic. As you can see in this video, he is one of those people you can’t help but love, even if he doesn’t say one word you understand. There is also a wonderful-seeming article here, about him and the Stone Town sculptures he has created, but we have not been able to get a good translation of it. It seems to say that he loved stone from a young age, admiring cyclopean walls and world-famous Stonehenge, that he has a mythic personality, athletic muscles, superhuman strength, a white beard and golden hands. It says he began to process boulders as the ancients did, eventually forming a whole city of stone, but that it looked supernatural and since people are not allowed to compete with the gods, those gods of the lower world took apart his achievement.

This is true. In Niksic, Montenegro, he laboured over a grouping of these sculptures in 1993 near the Palace of King Nicola, as the article puts it, drawing “from the stone wonderful synergy of beauty, rapture and awe” with “hints of stone Empire Luxor, Baalbek, Pompeii, their phantasmagorical streets, squares, colonnades, capitals and portals.” But in 2008, Niksic officials had the sculpture group, called Kameni Grad, or Stone Town, destroyed. Only photographs of that masterpiece remain.

Stone Town, Niksic.

Stone Town, Niksic.

It is not clear to us whether the Gates of Belgrade include any of the stone used in the former sculpture, but many people see it as the new Stone Town. It seems hard to believe, but more than one source suggests that Vulanovic received little or no money for the work. They call it his gift to Belgrade. Meanwhile, vandals have been at work destroying the new sculptures, knocking the stones down some time in 2011. The article that mentions that says that it was hoped that one of the cranes being used to build the beautiful new bridge across the Sava might help Mr. Vulanovic to set the stones back up. We hope it was done!

It says he comes out very early in the morning and washes in the cold fountain, then works all day carving stone and wood. We think it says that when the journalist exclaims that it is -10 degrees C, Vulanovic says, there is no creativity without passion!

Usually we’re funny on this blog, or we try to be, but once in a while we’re awed. This is one of those times. This isn’t a true Stonehenge replica, but we’re glad it was brought to our attention. The research for it took us on a journey of discovery, not all of which we had room for here, discovery of a great artist and of a culture that writes and thinks in grand terms about its great artists. Today we’re grateful to have gotten a glimpse of that man and that world. We won’t award this man any druids. We think he may be one.

Ratko Vulanovic

Ratko Vulanovic

P.S.: We’re also tracking down stories of a sculptor known for Stonehenge-like sculptures, including one in Zurich. We’ll get to that post somewhere down the line. We have sillier things to share before that. And until next time, dear friends, happy henging!

Keeping Cool in Hotlanta–Stonehenge Sculpture AND Fountain

photo by Simon Burrow, used with permission

One of our highly paid and intensively trained henge-spotters* was on duty in Atlanta Georgia recently and spotted this Stonehenge sculpture fountain, entitled Stonehenge 2000. Unfortunately we know very little else about it.

It was created by Blood, Sweat, and Steel sculpture shop, under the leadership of an Alex H. with the help of someone named either Chip or Dan, who now works at Etowah Iron Works. Who commissioned it and why the reference to Stonehenge is a mystery. If any readers know or find further information about it, please write to us or put it in the comments so we can add it to the post!

Stonehenge sculptures are not unusual. People who do large sculptures seem to use Stonehenge as a sort of fall-back idea. Stonehenge fountains are not so easy to find. Offhand we can think of the Notre Dame fountain, one of the sculptures at Caelum Moor in Texas, the one at Falling Water Designs in Monroe, Washington, and possibly the odd Stonehenge in Mountain View California, although we’ still don’t know about that one.

And then there’s that Waterfall fountain trilithon we posted that time–probably better forgotten. But why make a Stonehenge fountain at all, one might ask. Just one of those mysteries of the human mind, we suppose. Someone thinking, “Stonehenge is brilliant, but it would have been perfect if it were a water feature!” A surprising number of hengers feel deep down that they could do better than Stonehenge’s original builders.

Stonehenge 2000 has two curved and unusually shaped trilithons standing in water. It isn’t actually much like Stonehenge, is it? Score: 4½ druids. That extra half is for naming it after Stonehenge. (Please note: this is not a score judging it as a sculpture or as a piece of public art. We strongly approve of Stonehenge-related public sculpture! This score only judges its qualities as a Stonehenge replica. And let’s face it–not so much.)

Before we go, we’re going to throw in another Stonehenge-related sculpture that has been lurking on our backlog list for a long time: Toronto’s Gateway to Understanding. The text on a Flickr page showing a picture of it reads, “The Gateway to Understanding, Harbourfront, Toronto, ON. To commemorate the Earth Spirit Festival held in July 1991. Through dialogue and cultural exchange, tolerance and understanding awaken within us. This structure will stand tall and bold as a symbol of the earth spirit. By David Ruben Piqtoukun.” He is an Inuit artist and we get the sense he is using the trilithon form for its portal/gate qualities more than as a Stonehenge replica, but we thought it deserved a mention. And we like the idea of the rough stone trilithon as a symbol of the earth spirit. That may be what that grey original huddled on Salisbury Plain was all about, (even if it was longing for some water to be pumped through it!).

There are more Stonehenge sculptures and we may get to more of them over time. For now we will be pondering whether to add these two to the list of Large Permanent Replicas. Input is welcome, but we will probably at least add the Atlanta fountain one of these days when we’re feeling less lazy.

And, of course, in the meantime, friends, happy henging!

*Or– maybe it was friend of the blog Simon Burrow stumbling across it on an unrelated business trip…despite all the money we waste on those henge spotters!

H is For Henge: The Salisbury Hospital Trilithon

photo by Matt Penny, aka @Salisbury_Matt (but heartlessly cropped and altered by evil Clonehenge elves)

When we receive an email with the subject line, “Does this count?” it appeals to our considerable megalomaniacal tendencies. That is correct, minions! It is completely up to us. We alone decide what is henge-sufficient and what is not. Ha. And this time friend of the blog Mr. Matt Penny, knowing our weakness for flattery, played on it in order to be given the prestigious name of Discoverer of a Large Permanent Replica. Well  done, sir!

What and where is it, you ask? Mr. Penny (yes, alert reader, that same young Mr. Penny we have mentioned before as the creator and sovereign of the website Salisbury and says it is “a tri-lithon style ‘H’ which stands at the entrance to Salisbury District Hospital (usually known as Odstock)”  He goes on to say, “My feeling is that this is at least possibly a clonehenge rather than a simple stone ‘H‘ because of its elevation on a vaguely tumulus or tor shaped mound, and because of it’s relative proximity to the stones themselves (or clonehenge v0.1, as I’m starting to think of them).”

Although we prefer to think of ourselves as the only truly clever people,  we grudgingly admit that it was perceptive of Mr. Penny to look at this sculpture and realise that it is indeed a reference to that great grey heap of stones out on Salisbury plain. Proof that his hunch was correct can be seen on the sculptor’s website where it tells us the piece was “Commissioned by Salisbury Health Authority : H FOR HOSPITAL, a 6 tonne trilithon of Chilmark stone to mark the entrance to a new hospital. Click HERE to view.” [H IS FOR HOSPITAL–nice title but I think all of us here know what H is actually for!]

That word trilithon is the clincher. Put the word trilithon into Google along with the name Salisbury and one topic dominates the results–Stonehenge. Therefore this stone H fits solidly into the category of Stonehenge sculptures. In an odd twist, the notch method of inserting the third stone actually makes the sculpture more like the famous Tongan stone trilithon than like any of the trilithons at Stonehenge. But we are not ones to nit-pick (Much. Heh.).

More from Salisbury Matt, because he says it so well (or is it because we’re too lazy to write it ourselves? Surely not.): “The other quite nice aspect is that it’s made of Chilmark stone, which I *think* is the the stone that was used to build the Cathedral (I’ve never really been much into ley-lines etc, but Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge kind of go together – somebody like Dr Johnson said something like they are the ‘first essay and the last perfection of architecture’).

Wikipedia notes that Chilmark stone appears to have been used to pack around the base of at least one of the uprights at Stonehenge. This sculpture certainly ties in nicely. Curiously, when a hospital near to Clonehenge headquarters, far from Wilts, tried to call a huge H on their premises a sculpture, authorities judged it to be a commercial sign, denying them privileges or tax breaks. Maybe they should have made it of crude stone and called it a Stonehenge replica. Psh! And people say that our topic has no practical applications!

As for a score, we’re charmed by the connection of the Wiltshire Chilmark stone, the placement of it on a mound, and even the connection to healing, rumoured to be one of the functions of Stonehenge itself. We give it 5½ druids, not a bad score for a mere trilithon. And we give to Matt Penny that most coveted of titles–official Clonehenge Finder of a large permanent replica. Please, Monsieur Penny , we don’t want to hear about all the free drinks and action (wink, wink) you get as a result. Meanwhile don’t forget, other readers, if you want that kind of glory, make or find a Stonehenge replica and send us pictures! Your life will change in ways you can only imagine!

And to everyone, happy henging!

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.

Poort van de Zon, or Gate of the Sun, Arnhem, Nederland

photo by Bert Boerma, used with permission

Okay, okay, we know it has been a while since we posted. The truth is, we came within a hair’s breadth of getting a life recently. But fear not, it has passed and we are back, kinda, sorta, at least long enough to add this admirable photo to our blog and this admirable sculpture to our list of large permanent replicas.

Created or at least placed in 1980, it is located in Immerloo Park in South Arnhem, in the Netherlands. The artist is Marius van Beek, a prominent Dutch sculptor. You can see its location and another picture of it here on Panoramio.

As far as we can make out by using internet translators on the Dutch pages, the two standing stones mark sun positions in spring and fall. The function of the red stone set on a tilt is less clear.

While it is a trilithon and resembles Stonehenge in its sun connection, this sculpture also echoes the Bolivian ruin also called the Gate of the Sun. Mr. van Beek may have had both ancient monuments in mind. A scan of his webpage will show that he has a fascination with standing stones and variations on the trilithon form. Our kind of guy! (Except he works hard and has talent.)

Score: 5½ druids. We like the sun alignments and the pleasing form of the gate. Every city should have something like this!

By the way, this is not Arnhem’s only Stonehenge replica ever. Check this out:

This 4 meter by 4 meter replica was built for a special exhibition called The Fascinating World of Stonehenge at the Municipal Museum of Arnhem in 1988=1989. Apparently a similar model of the Newgrange Passage Tomb was also built, although regrettably we have no photo of that. This is a very nice model and would probably rate 7 or 8 druids depending on a closer look. Perhaps Stonehenges come in twos!

We don’t have many replicas lined up to post, but we did hear there’s a town in Australia that has plans for one. We’ll post on that sometime soon.  Meanwhile, send in your homemade and newly discovered henges. The summer henging season is nearly upon us!

Happy henging!

(You didn’t expect this to be funny, did you? Everybody knows there’s nothing funny about the Dutch.)

Mountain View, California–It’s a Mystery!

photos by Ghostly Penguin Display (aka Khoi), with permission

We said we weren’t going to post any more but we can’t stand knowing of large permanent replicas and not posting them! People count on us for their Stonehenge replica information. Well, in our dreams, anyway!

We actually knew there was some kind of little Stonehenge in Mountain View, California, but until now we had never seen a picture of it. Then one day recently we were idly searching the interwebular thing-a-majiger and, voilá! Here is this odd little sculpture/replica trilithon/circle in a park. With photos by a fellow of the excellent name Ghostly Penguin Display. (No, sorry, we don’t know why either.) Well, obviously we have to post it.

But what is it? We have stared at these pictures for a while, before and after doig searches to see if there’s any info online about this. We found nothing Perfect! That leaves us free to make up whatever we want.

The most alarming thing about this one is that grate under the trilithon. We had to reject out of hand (so to speak!) the theory that it might be an outdoor urinal. Even California is not that funky. And then there’s that strange screen between the uprights, with the pattern of holes in it. Astronomical sighting holes, lining up with sunrises and sets? Stars? The moon? Unlikely with that configuration, although it’s likely that at least one of them will line up with something.

No, the conclusion we have come to, and we plan to stick to it even if the designer or someone points out that we’re wrong (which is not unlikely), is that this piece, although dry now, was designed as a fountain.

Which makes it our third Stonehenge fountain–fourth if you count one built on an old fountain. There was the Falling Water Designs replica, the Warwick University replica (small and temporary), and, of course, the first replica that caused us to use the word lameness in a post, the Waterfall Stonehenge, for sale now. There’s actually another, since one of the trilithons at Caelum Moor in Texas is a fountain, too, although most photos don’t show it running.

Clearly there’s a pattern here, and we think this is the best explanation for this odd yet charming construction. We like the circle of low stones around it, suitable for people to sit on and listen to the falling water while reading or just thinking, or trying not to think. We want one of these in our town’s park!

Score: 6 druids. We may have been influenced by the nice light captured by our Ghostly Penguin friend. We admit we’re a little mysified, too, by that tree or trees just behind it. A young flowering tree with supports? A small grove with some young white birches? We can’t quite figure it out, but that’s okay. Stonehenge is supposed to be a mystery.

And, yes, we have a couple more to come including a nice German one we had somehow missed. See you soon. Happy Thanksgiving to our Stateside readers!