The most common associations with Ireland are: legends, mystery and ... fun. All these phenomena are intertwined in one attraction, which can be called truly Irish - the Giants Road: a landscape that resembles a natural pavement. Many legends and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation have tried to explain the origin of this place - this indicates the popularity of the Road not only among tourists, but also among local residents. Experienced tourists know: if the attraction is popular not only among travelers, but also among locals, then it must be included in your itinerary.
Giant's Road Origin
It is difficult to believe that this place was really created by nature: hexagonal basalt columns are connected in the same way as they created paving stones in the Middle Ages or how columns are folded during the construction of the bridge. There are 2 main hypotheses of the origin of the Giants' Road: the official one, which was put forward by archaeological scientists, and the mythical one of the thousands of legends and traditions that found the most response in the hearts of people.
According to legend, Finn Mac Kumal, the legendary hero of Celtic myths, was facing a battle with the one-eyed monster Goll. In order not to soak his feet, the hero drove into the bottom of the sea many columns that formed a bridge. After a long and exhausting work, Finn lay down to rest and fell asleep. While he was sleeping, the monster took advantage of the bridge and crossed over it to Ireland, where the first thing went to the hero’s house. Finn's wife - Uma - lied, saying that it was not Finn’s master who was sleeping in bed, but their newborn son. In addition, she treated the intruder to the cakes, inside which she laid iron pans. She gave the second cake, without filling, to the "baby", who gladly ate it. The monster was horrified: if the baby is such a hero, what will his father be? Gall escaped from this house with such speed that on the way he broke all the columns.
In fact, the origin of the road is more prosaic. About 50-60 million years ago, in the Paleocene era, the eruption of Antrim volcano occurred due to the movement of basalt plates. As the lava dries, it turns into pillars, and their hexagonal shape is the result of horizontal compression.
The discovery of the place is the merit of Bishop Derry, who ended up traveling here in 1692. He drew the attention of the public, geologists, and artists to the Road.
Giants Road - a natural attraction
In order for tourists to be comfortable enjoying the Giants Road, all conditions are created:
- In 2000, an Information Center was opened for visitors, where tourists can receive all kinds of assistance
- You can purchase souvenirs at the gift shop.
- There is a museum with ancient geological exhibits, some of which are about 60 million years old.
How to get to the place?
The bridge of the giants is one hundred kilometers from Belfast. City and tourist buses run between the city and the tourist attraction, the route of which is laid along the picturesque coastline of Antrim.
Another option is the railway: the station is located 200 meters from the entrance to the park, trains leave from Belfast and Londonderry.
- In 1986, the Giants Road became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in 1987 received the title of National Reserve.
- Some low columns have unusual shapes: camel hump, harp, chimney, gate, etc.
- The height of the longest column is 12 meters
- Not all columns are hexagonal - there are still five-, seven- and octagonal
- In 2007, the Tourist Information Center received the award for “Best Tour Visit”
- To visit Dear ones, it is better to choose comfortable clothes and shoes with rubberized soles.
The object belongs to national reserves.