The standing stones

Les alignements de Carnac

The world famous standing stones

7000 years old, the megalithic alignments of Carnac are world famous and are one of the most important centres of European prehistory in existence. The singularity of the Carnac megaliths is their extrordinary alignments and their sheer numbers, this is the largest gathering of standing stones of this type in the world. The two main sites (Ménec and Kermario) alone account for nearly 3,000 menhirs, and the alignments extend over almost four miles!

The stones are placed in descending order and each alignment ends on a megalithic stone circle, some more visible than others.

Why were these stones erected and aligned? There are many theories that attempt to explain the origin of the alignments, including that they were religious monuments, related to the worship of the moon or sun, or to the farming calender. One legend even has it that they were a Roman army turned into stone! But their origin continues to be a mystery. The remains of this prehistoric period suggest, however, that they had a sacred and funereal function.

To protect these ancestral monuments and promote this exceptional heritage, local towns are pooling their resources in an attempt to have the megaliths of southern Morbihan listed as a UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.

The stones of Carnac are free to visit from October to March. From April to September, it is only possible to visit them as part of a paid tour with a guide. The sites at Ménec and Kermario have car parks.

Tip: Start your visit to the Maison des Megaliths, an information point at Ménec, to better understand everything you’re about to discover!

Read more…

Centre des Monuments Nationaux – Maison des Mégalithes

Route du Ménec,
56340 Carnac

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