Carnac Stones

Carnac, France

Carnac stones are an exceptionally dense collection of megalithic sites around the village of Carnac, consisting of alignments, dolmens, tumuli and single menhirs. More than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany, and are the largest such collection in the world. Most of the stones are within the Breton village of Carnac, but some to the east are within La Trinité-sur-Mer. The stones were erected at some stage during the Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BC, but some may date to as old as 4500 BC.

Although the stones date from 4500 BC, modern myths were formed which resulted from 1st century AD Roman and later Christian occupations, such as Saint Cornelius – a Christian myth associated with the stones held that they were pagan soldiers in pursuit of Pope Cornelius when he turned them to stone. Brittany has its own local versions of the Arthurian cycle. Local tradition claims that the reason they stand in such perfectly straight lines is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin.

In recent centuries, many of the sites have been neglected, with reports of dolmens being used as sheep shelters, chicken sheds or even ovens. Even more commonly, stones have been removed to make way for roads, or as building materials. The continuing management of the sites remains a controversial topic.



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Rue du Ménec, Carnac, France
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Founded: 4500 - 3300 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in France
Historical period: Prehistoric Age (France)


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mike Harms (2 months ago)
I found the megaliths of Carnac to be an amazing experience. It is low key, there was almost nobody there and there are no signs about the Menhir except at the Visitor Center. But on the other hand you get to wander among the stones and soak up 7000 years of magic and wonder. What are they all about? Are they burial monuments? Religious monuments built by druids? To this day, nobody knows... they are in obvious rows but they don't align with the sun, moon, or stars. This place is certainly worth a visit if you are in Brittany and want to get in touch with your inner archeologist.
David Masters (3 months ago)
The stones are great and there are a lot, you can't get near them though, there us a unsightly fence all the way around it. It is a nice walk around the fence. There is adequate parking.
Ronald Swinkels (5 months ago)
We had a nice walk with kids and our dog around the fields with all the stones (Menhirs). It's impressive to see all those stones aligned. Too bad you can't go in the fields by yourself. You have to buy tickets for a guided tour for that. Heard that the guides often only speak French so we decided not to buy those.
Brenda McColgan (5 months ago)
A must for visiting. There is a train that beings you around, guided walks and several walks of different lengths. Very well done and has a wonderful atmosphere. I really enjoyed it.
Jane Etherton dite Madame Thermomix (6 months ago)
Simply amazing! So many standing stones! Lots of parking in the shade. You can visit by Petit Train, where a little open-sided "train" drives you around the massive site with multi-language commentaries. You can walk around some or all of it. There is a Maison des Megaliths for more in-depth historical and scientific information. Note that there are relatively clean public toilets on site but no place to buy water or soft drinks.
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