Hundreds of Mythical Megaliths

Carnac in Brittany is world-famous for its numerous prehistoric monuments. These monuments consist of large stones, arranged in patterns or erected separately. It is one of the most remarkable places in France. These are the sights of Carnac.

It is believed that many of these monuments were linked to rituals around the sun and the moon. When you look at a map of Brittany, you see symbols in countless places. Most are intended for megaliths, but also for dolmens, tumuli, and other structures that I have never heard of before.

According to archaeologists, construction of it began around 5000 BC. The strange structures are often attributed to the Celts, but they did not arrive until around 500 BC. However, they did use the stone formations for various rituals.

Monuments at Carnac in Brittany. ©Corno van den Berg

Older than Stonehenge

These are the oldest structures in Europe. Older than, for example, Stonehenge. And according to experts, the various structures are likely connected to each other. Think of prehistoric rituals, of which we are not aware. What is certain is that the sun and the moon play an important role in the whole. The sun rises above the rows of stones and sets in line with them.

A row of megaliths at Plouhinec, near Carnac. ©Corno van den Berg

Nowadays, Carnac is a town and the rows of stones are surrounded by houses and meadows. Paved roads run alongside the stones and it is popular among tourists. I am looking for a quiet piece and find that at Kerlescan. And I try to imagine how it must have been. Long ago, when people lived off hunting and fishing.

That is why there are various names. The standing stones of Carnac, for example, are called menhirs or megaliths in France, while the English refer to their stone circles as cromlechs and stonehenges. The burial mounds are called dolmens, although ‘tumuli’ is also often used. With dolmens, the earth has been removed from the mound.

Accommodation in Carnac

I have spent multiple nights in the town of Carnac. Thanks to this, I was able to start early in the morning before most other tourists arrived. You can find various small hotels, lovely gites, and convenient apartments in the nearby area. Be sure to book in advance, especially during holiday periods.

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