The Hill of Tara, located near the River Boyne, is an archaeological complex that runs between Navan and Dunshaughlin in County Meath, Leinster, Ireland.
In ancient Irish religion and mythlogy, Tara was revered as a dwelling of the gods and an entrance place to the otherworld of eternal joy and plenty where no mortal ever grew old. In prehistory and historic times 142 Kings are said to have reigned in the name of Tara. The coronation stone called The Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny has rested here down the ages. Tara is one of the largest complexes of Celtic monuments in all of Europe.
A church, called Saint Patrick’s, is on the eastern side of the hilltop. The modern church was built in 1822–23 on the site of an earlier one.
Although little over 500 ft in height, Tara still commands the surrounding countryside. One origin of Tara’s name is ‘Teamhair” – place of great prospect. On a clear day it is claimed that from Tara it is possible to see half the counties of Ireland.
The megalithic passage tomb called the Mound of the Hostages (Duma na nGiall) is the oldest monument on the Hill of Tara dating back to between 2500 B.C. and 3000 B.C.
Although no actual buildings remain there is ground works which suggest the layout of the site with various forts, the mound of the hostages and a large banquet hall.
There is also the Stone of Destiny which is believed to have held a great significance to the coronation of the King.
The Smithsonian Museum listed the Hill of Tara as one of its 15 endangered cultural treasures.