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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Address

Rue du Ménec, Carnac, France
See all sites in Carnac

Details

Founded: 4500 - 3300 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in France
Historical period: Prehistoric Age (France)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Guido Merighi Buitoni (7 months ago)
Amazing place just make sure you visit with good weather and ideally after visiting the archeology museum. The walking is easy but make sure to have sturdy shoes as some parts are in grass that tends to be wet especially in the morning
Pete Caneer (8 months ago)
Impressive. We took the bus area tour which went to La Trinity sur Mer...good to see the marina and they provided head sets for a dozen languages but the sound quality was terrible. Would probably recommend a walking tour with English speaker to really enjoy the megaliths.
John Ryan (8 months ago)
Pretty impressive for the sheer number of stones but you have to question the validity as a true representation of an historic past. I suspect not all the stones are in their original locations and amendments have been implemented over the centuries. It is free to walk amongst the stones October to some time in spring. Otherwise, it's a very nice walk.
Marek Pýcha (8 months ago)
I do not know what exactly is great about this place. Yes there is bunch of stones and it is nice walk arround it but nothing special.
Exploding Dodo (2 years ago)
Can't walk amongst the stones till October so limited to walking a busy main road around the site
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