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A National Heritage survey has shown that Newgrange in the Boyne Valley is Ireland’s favorite heritage site in the country. The site is famed worldwide for its annual alignment with the sun on the winter solstice. reports on the Survey and Ireland’s preparation for National Heritage Week, which began on Saturday and aims “to build awareness and education about our heritage thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation.”

Ireland’s top site according to the survey, Newgrange predates other famous sites around the world including the pyramids at Giza and Stonehenge. While there’s no consensus on why the site was originally built centuries ago, many speculate that it must have some religious or spiritual significance.

Other results from the survey showed that County Meath has the richest heritage, followed by Clare and Kerry. Trinity College in Dublin was rated the site most worthy of official heritage status according to the research, which was conducted by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical Ireland.

David Lane, managing director of Ecclesiastical Insurance Ireland, said “Over a quarter of those surveyed reported visiting Irish heritage sites frequently, which reiterates the importance of our heritage gems as a valuable tourism resource, not just for overseas tourists but also increasingly for those holidaying at home.”

“While the economic climate is set to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future, it is a positive sign that there has been a revival of interest in our country’s past.“

National Heritage Week will run for eight days this year and will put a special focus on Ireland’s built heritage. In order to celebrate, sites that were previously closed to the public - including Freemasons Hall in Dublin, Bracklyn House in Westmeath and Kilpeacon House inLimerick - will be opened again to the public.

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