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Thousands welcome beginning of summer at Stonehenge

Thousands watch the sun rise over Stonehenge

LONDON — Thousands have watched the sun glint over the horizon at Stonehenge, celebrating the summer solstice at the Neolithic stone circle.

The sun rose behind the Heel Stone, which traditionally marks the spot on the horizon for the sunrise, at 4.52 a.m. Thursday (0352 GMT; 23:52 EDT Wednesday).

Crowds cheered and raised mobile phones for images as the rays flooded through the monument and announced the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

English Heritage, which cares for historic sites, tweeted that it was the “perfect morning for the #SummerSolstice sunrise at Stonehenge.”

The stone circle in southern England, believed to be 4,500 years old, is a World Heritage site known for its alignment with the movements of the sun. Thousands visit to mark the solstices in summer and winter.

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