The Megaliths of Carnac

The Megaliths of Carnac

Carnac is located in France in the south coast of Brittany. This is the site of the largest concentration of megalithic monuments in the world. There are over 100 monuments in Carnac, which include burial mounds, stone tombs, enclosures and linear arrangements of menhirs. These were erected between the 5th and 3rd millennia BCE by the Neolithic Farming communities which inhabited the area of Carnac.

Mysterious stones

The granite stones varying in size from 1 meter in height to huge 6.5 meter tall stones weighing several hundred tons were removed from rocky outcrops in the surrounding area. The stones were most probably moved using levers and rollers and those stones positioned on top of others were dragged up an artificial earth incline made level with the top of the vertical stones with the earth then being removed when the construction was complete. The stones were placed in different types of arrangements: menhirs (single free-standing stones), mounds (individual tombs), dolmens (collective tombs), enclosures (circle stone arrangements), alignments (parallel rows with single upright stones), cairns (smaller pile of stones).

Four famous alignments

Most of the stones are within the village of Carnac, but some to the east are within La Trinité-sur-Mer. There are four famous alignments at Carnac. The alignments consist of rows of menhirs ranging from one to 13 lines.

  • The Le Menec Alignment runs 1200 meters diagonally southwest to northeast. It consists of 12 rows of approximately 1100 megaliths. The largest is three meters high.
  • The Kermario Alignment runs one kilometer long in a southwest to northeast diagonal aspect. It contains seven full rows and three partial lines with more than 1000 megaliths.
  • The Kerlescan Alignment is much shorter at only 355 meters long but running in the same direction. It consists of 13 rows of more than 300 megaliths. Has a stone circle at its west end where the stones are much larger and a 90-metre diameter circle of menhirs north of the rows.
  • The Le Petit Menac. These 250 stones were used for the building of a lighthouse at Belle-Ile. The location has been pillaged and neglected but evidence of three curved rows more than 300 meters long can still be seen.

Note

Location: Megalithische Anlagen von Carnac, 56343

Nearby hotels: Hotel Tumulus, Carnac Thalasso & Spa Resort Hotel, Hotel Le Churchill

Nearby sights: Foret Adrenaline, Dolmens de Mane Karioned, Musee de Prehistoire

Website: www.menhirs-carnac.fr

Tel.:  +33 2 97 52 89 99

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