Giants Causeway tops for Ireland in global wonders list
Ireland honors in 'Greatest Places to Stand'
Travelers have spoken, and several Irish sites have made the list of the Top 100 Greatest Places to Stand on the Planet.
StoodThere.com has put forward 100 of “the World’s most wondrous, inspiring, or thought-provoking locations,” and has invited people to vote for the Greatest Place to Stand on Planet Earth 2009.
Two Irish locations have been included in the list, which is mostly voted on by Americans and Brits. A site’s ranking changes as more people vote, but as of July 10, The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland is ranked at 47, while Temple Bar comes in at 91.
The Giant's Causeway, declared a World Heritage site in 1986, is a coastal area of about 40,000 basalt columns near the town of Bushmills in County Antrim, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland.
Its unique and fascinating stepping stone formation is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption that occurred 60 million years ago.
Irish myth, however, explains its origins differently. Legend has it that an Irish giant named Finn MacCool once lived in the area. He challenged his rival, the Scottish giant Benandonner, to a fight. Because no boat was big enough to carry the giant, Finn built a causeway of stones in the water so that Benandonner would be able to make it across.
When Finn realized the Scottish giant was far bigger than he had expected, he fled to the hills where his wife disguised him as a baby. This move foxed Bennadonner because he thought that if the child was that big, the father would be even bigger. Benandonner fled back to the Scotland, ripping up the causeway behind him, so that Finn wouldn’t be able to follow him.
Temple Bar may not have as much Celtic myth attached to it, but it’s a great place to stand, nonetheless. An area on the south bank of the Liffey in Dublin, Temple Bar has a preserved medieval street pattern which features charming cobblestone streets.
The Irish Photography Center, the Irish Film Institute, the Temple Bar Music Center, Temple Bar Gallery and Studio, the Gaiety School of Acting, the Irish Stock Exchange and the Central Bank of Ireland all lie in the area, which is known as Dublin’s “cultural quarter.”