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The Megaliths

Our August travel in Bretagne Sud had taken us to the quaint village of Saint Cado, the Bay of Biscay for Barre d’Étel and Gâvres, and the peninsula of Quiberon. However, we simply cannot drive past Erdeven and Carnac without visiting at least one of the several megalithic sites the region is famous for!

We strategically searched for a chambre d’hôte that is close to my friend’s wedding reception yet within reach of interesting spots to sightsee. An online search led me to the B&B of Kerzerho where we were very well looked after by Dominique throughout our stay. Frederic and I were given a room with a balcony where we could have breakfast on sunny mornings, and both ours as well as our friends’ rooms were tastefully decorated and immaculately cleaned. Moreover, Dominique is an active member of the local tourism board and therefore has plenty of tips to offer.

Kerzerho

Kerzerho

Anyway, I digress.

A short walk away from our B&B is the megalithic site of Erdeven itself! Comprised of over 1,000 standing and 5,000 lying stones, this site also known as Kerzerho alignment is the most significant site after the three main ones in Carnac. From the main road passing through Erdeven, some of these standing stones – menhirs – are clearly visible. One needs to only follow the path to enjoy a couple of hours of walk among the menhirs, spot the praying table, and marvel at the rare remaining dolmens.

As you can see, our first foray to the site was late in the evening, so we didn’t go very far. The following morning when we meant to explore it a bit more, well, I overslept. I consoled myself that there’s still the alignments in Carnac to see, but I really wished I had gone out in search of the full alignment and the dolmen.

Megalith

Megalith

Megalith

Megalith

Carnac is the centre of French megalithic sites, boasting alignments in Ménec, Kermario and Kerlescan. These stones date as old as over 6,000 years but despite multiple theories proposed to identify the purpose of such extensive alignments, the full significance remains unknown to the many who have been studying them. Unsurprisingly, links to folklore and legends abound, elevating the mysticism of these erect stones. It must be noted, however, for a not insignificant period of time in history, they were not considered as particularly sacred and instead some were lifted as materials for building, farming, etc.

We saw the most visited site – Ménec – and went on a short guided tour. While our guide was friendly, she was not always audible (the group was fairly large) and I could not always understood her either. Aerial images that we saw of the site at the visitor centre are very impressive and some, mythic, thanks to foggy settings when they were photographed. These factors combined, I became simultaneously more curious about the story of the megaliths and frustrated with how little I know about it even after the guided tour. A rather odd predicament?

Megalith

Megalith

Megalith

Megalith

There are much more to explore apart from the alignments of menhirs. We did not see any dolmen nor tumuli, and if the map I’ve got from the visitor’s centre is anything to go by, there are a lot of nooks and corners to check out around the village and beyond.

What’s even more intriguing is the presence of menhirs off the coast of Brittany (didn’t manage to catch where exactly though), supposedly put in place way back when the land mass extended further out but today submerged under seawater. My ears perked up when our guide at Ménec mentioned it, and I guess this is yet another thing I should dig for more information. So much to learn still, right?



Category: Europe, France, Travel

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4 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    interesting…maybe it was a land full of giants eons ago…hmmm

  2. med says:

    Shrek? kekeke

Scribble a note to med × Cancel reply


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