The stones of Carnac are a gigantic alignment of menhirs erected in the air . Their history still remains quite mysterious…
Carnac contains 3000 menhirs
In Morbihan, more than 550 megalithic sites have been listed. 7000 years old, the megalithic site of Carnac, the most famous in the region, remains a high place of European prehistory. It has been classified as a Historic Monument since 1889. Nestled in southern Morbihan, the stones of Carnac are distinguished by their incredible alignment. Built between the 5th and 3rd millennium BC, the two main sites (Ménec and Kermario) alone contain nearly 3000 menhirs. These alignments extend over nearly 4 kilometers ! Menhirs, dolmens, tumulus and other vestiges bear witness to Neolithic architecture. The stones are placed in descending order and each alignment ends on a more or less visible megalithic enclosure.
Why all these standing and aligned stones?
The history of the alignments of Carnac still remains quite mysterious, these stone giants having not yet revealed all their secrets. Scientists and historians estimate, however, the origin of the menhirs between 4,000 and 3,000 BC, right in the heart of the Neolithic period. Some stones are even, probably, even older, such as the famous Giant of Manio, the largest standing stone on the site with its 6.5 m height. Several hypotheses are possible concerning the origin of these stones: religious monuments, worship of the moon or the sun, calendar for agriculture or even the Roman army transformed into stones according to a legend… the mystery remains unsolved ! The remains of this prehistoric period still suggest that they had a sacred and funerary function. Former Gallic cemetery, these stones would have been arranged to honor the dead. The large stones would have been intended for the richest while the smaller ones were reserved for the poorest.
An exceptional heritage
In order to protect these ancestral monuments and enhance this exceptional heritage, the cities are pooling their resources to register the megaliths of southern Morbihan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The association Paysages de Mégalithes was created and supports the project. The alignments of Carnac are accessible for free visit from October to March. From April to September, only paid conference visits allow you to enter the sites.
Carnac Tourist Office +33 (0)2 97 52 13 52 74 Druid Avenue 56342 CARNAC cedex