The largest megalithic facility in the world ranks in Brittany: Carnac and its rows of stones hold a special power. There are many mystical things to discover around the rows of stones.
#Carnac as a power place
They exist, these places where time stands still. At which the wind suddenly blows a bit more intense, the pines smell more spicy and the view seems a few dioptres clearer than a few minutes ago. Carnac was such a place for me. This famous place in Brittany, where thousands of stones have been placed in a row. Overall, Carnac is divided into three areas: Menec, Kermario and Kerlescan are called the fields on which the rows of stones can be found. Incidentally, they are right next to the main street of the village and can not be overlooked.
# Sayings and myths around the stone ranks of Carnac
Very orderly, they stand like soldiers in a row, a huge army of stones. Maybe it used to be soldiers, at least that's how it tells one of the many legends. It is a Christianized legend that reports that Saint Cornelius was persecuted in the 3rd century as a Christian and Bishop in Rome and fled to France. In Brittany, the Roman army was at his heels. The saint had no choice but to cast a curse on the Romans, whereupon the legionaries petrified. He is today honored as the patron saint of cows.
Other stories tell that the stones come to life on special days and then dance and even drink on a river. On Christmas night, it is said, the menhirs of Carnac are secretly bathed in the sea. There are many legends about the stones, but they all have one thing in common: The stones of Carnac are said to have healing properties on humans and animals and to promote fertility. In some parts of Brittany, as in Carnac, there are stones to dance or even rub his genitals to increase fertility, and other stones have a hole to hold babies to protect them from disease.
The matter of fertility could also be based on the way in which the stones were set up. To set them up, a hole had to be dug into the ground to firmly anchor the stone and pull it up from there. It reminds me a little of the maypole ritual in which the tree pierces the virgin wreath. No wonder, then, that he inspired erotic fantasies and fertility rites. Whether fairies or giants dance in this place, may judge only people who have the gift to see them. To this day, however, people believe that a visit to Carnac or special menhirs around the place, an unfulfilled desire to have children puts an end to and rewarded with offspring.
#The mystery of the menhirs
How did you move these stones in a time when the wheel was not invented? The granite, as we now know, is local stone and comes from the area, yet it was a unique achievement during the Neolithic period, hammering these stones out of the rocks with a hammer and chisel and transporting them over a series of tree trunks to have.
I do not care how they got there. I do not have to answer all the questions, I'm just amazed. About this unique atmosphere that has created a field of its own in this place, a space that may well be felt by people who are not as bright-sighted or bright-hearted. How else can it be explained that they, just rushed out of the car and really only quickly in search of a place for the selfie suddenly become quiet and drifting. Marveling astonishingly through the rows of stones and taking time to explore this place instead of simply leaving off the travel destination list as I saw it in the lighthouses of Brittany?
# Feel the power of the stones
Carnac. I walk with the kids through the megalithic grounds, glad we have October and we can run between the stones instead of being locked out in front of the fence, as is the case in high season. So many stones. In the meantime, each one of us has searched for our own stone, one against it, the other one examines it or simply sits in its shadow. Fascinated and a little bit slain by this ancient stone force. And yet it soon shows its effect and resonates with my own inner peace.
I like to feel things. From Carnac went an incredible peace, strength and slowness. To dive into the world of stone beings always means to downshift some corridors and to contemplate the permanence and the own peace. In fact, this image inside me has appeared: everything in me stays the same no matter how many storms and imponderables sweep over my life. They may carry a small chunk, but the core just stays like a rock in the surf or a menhir in a storm.
#Old knowledge and first occupations
Almost 3000 stones should be there, which are so ordered and gigantic in the landscape. What is the secret of the stones of Carnac? Where is the explanation for this order, which is so fascinating and alien at the same time? The stones are between 50 centimeters and four meters high. They are said to come from the Neolithic period, about 4500 to 2000 BC. Despite the importance of computer technology and a world in which seemingly everything has already been researched and discovered, the meaning of the rows of stones still exists today, these little inexplicabilities and secrets. In contrast to the rows of stones and megalithic culture on Malta or Stonehenge, one hardly knows anything about the people who have built this gigantic stone field. Incidentally, their largest and most dense collection is Cromlech, a gathering place where perhaps cults and rites were also practiced. At the dolmens, archaeologists found offerings that suggested that they were graves.
These stones, which have been erected so that they have planned the character of the earth as a ball equal, although that was not then known. For that reason, they are so precisely arranged in parts that it can be seen from the stones that people at that time had sophisticated measuring technology and knew a lot about the laws of computation and geometric laws. They had to be technically very advanced, was it a seafaring nation? After all, you can see the rows of stones well from the sea. But who they were, the builders, lies in the fog of history.
The stone ranks of Carnac, but also the menhirs and dolmens, are not only a mystical place, but also a place that documents the evolution of civilization. The people whose way of life was perhaps more nomadic until then had to be settled in Carnac. Not only that, they already had to specialize in one skill and the division of tasks started as well as the professions. For example, there may have been stonemasons and workers who made the menhirs, while peasants cared for the food and possibly priests who were responsible for contact with the heavenly powers. People became more and more specialized, toolmakers for stonemasons as well as traders.
#Other single stones in Carnac
Beeindruckend fand ich diesen Stein, der sich zwischen den Steinreihen von Kerlescan und Kermario befindet. Géant de Manio: I found this stone, which is located between the stone rows of Kerlescan and Kermario, impressive. Just continue on the D 196, then the Géant de Manio is already signposted. The walk there through the magic forest was incidentally an experience in itself. Nearby is the stone field Quadrilatère du Manio.
: Manche Orte befinden sich unscheinbar direkt neben den spektakulären Plätzen. Tumulus de Kercado : Some places are inconspicuously located next to the spectacular squares. The Tumulus de Kercado is located southeast of the stone field Kermario, directly on the way to Géant de Manio. The round tomb is one of the oldest megalithic buildings in Europe. It is exciting that the entrance points in the direction of the sun's position at the winter solstice. At the complex there is a small cafe.
. Other interesting monuments in the vicinity of Carnac are the Dolmen de Kermarquer . It is located southeast of Kerleskan. ist nördlich von Carnac zu sehen und der Dolmen de Mané Keriaval befindet sich fast direkt an der Anreisestraße D 768 nach Carnac, einfach eine Ausfahrt später nehmen, dann kommt man direkt daran vorbei. The Dolmen de Roch Feuten can be seen north of Carnac and the Dolmen de Mané Keriaval is almost directly on the D 768 arrival road to Carnac, just take an exit later, then you pass it directly. . Almost opposite is the Dolmen de Mané-Kerioned .
#Information on Carnac
Von April bis September sind die Steinreihen nur mit kostenpflichtigen Führungen zu besichtigen. Museum and rows of stones: From April to September, the rows of stones can only be visited with paid tours. As soon as the low season starts, ie in October (until March), also locked areas are opened and you can walk along there - for free. It will never open all areas at the same time to protect the monument. If you want to inform yourself, you should definitely visit the Maison des Mégalithes , the museum opened in 2018 for this archaeological site. Admission is free. From April to September the museum opens from 9.30am to 6pm (in July / August to 19), from October to March the opening hours are from 10.30am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5pm. Incidentally, the sun is very strong over the stone fields, which can be unpleasant, especially in summer, so I recommend to go earlier.
Das Maison des Mégalithes befindet sich an der Rue de Ménec. How to get there: The Maison des Mégalithes is located on Rue de Ménec. The stone field of Ménec is just across the street. If you follow the road further to the east, you will reach the stone ranks of Kermario. This area is the most impressive and probably the most visited of Carnac. the third stone field is called Kerlescan, is the smallest and is located in the west. You can find a map with the stone rows of Carnac here as PDF.
Es gibt viele Möglichkeiten des Camping in Carnac – und zwar ganz nah der Steinreihen. Staying overnight: There are many possibilities of camping in Carnac - and very close to the rows of stones. That can not offer a hotel or B B. It's best just to look at Google Maps and choose the campsite that suits you best and that is close to the stone circles.
# Difference Dolmen, Megalith, Menhir and Stone Circle
Bei uns werden sie landläufig auch als Steingräber oder Hünengräber bezeichnet. Dolmen: With us they are commonly referred to as stone tombs or megalithic tombs. In most cases, their shape resembles that of a table: two lateral stones carry a large stone slab. Sometimes burial mounds are also called tumuli. By the way, in France, all the stone testimonies of megalithic culture are called dolmens.
Das Wort stammt aus dem Bretonischen, Mean bedeutet Stein und -hir >Menhir: The word comes from the Breton, mean means stone and -hir long. These long, large stones are also known as Hinkelsteine. 20 kilometers from Carnac (south), Locmariaquer is home to the world's largest menhir: Grand Menhir Brisé has been split into several parts, but was originally over 20 meters high.
Nach ihnen ist eine ganze Kultur benannt – die Megalithkultur. Megalith: After them, a whole culture is named - the megalithic culture. Megaliths are erect stones set up like giant landmarks. Often they form into stone circles and had religious-spiritual significance.
Ein von Menschenhand erschaffener, frei stehender Stein. Monolith: A man-made, free-standing stone. It is typical for monoliths that they consist of one piece, which can also be columns.
Auch Cromlech genannt, der bekannteste Steimkreis ist der von Stonehenge, aber auch in der Bretagne finden sich einige Steinkreise. Stone Circle: Also known as Cromlech, the most famous circle is that of Stonehenge, but also in Brittany there are some stone circles. Whether they have been used to date or to rites, it is speculated on today. In Carnac, stone circles are mainly found around the Alignement of Le Menec, there at the end and at the beginning. The rows of Kerlescan and Kermario also end in a stone circle.
# The most beautiful beach: Carnac Plage
Anyone who has seen enough will be rewarded with a beautiful beach after visiting the rows of stones: Carnac Plage is a fine sandy beach that stretches along the Bay of Carnac. He is very busy and right behind the beach there is the typical tourist infrastructure with shops, hotels and restaurants. So: Best swimming with a trip to Carnac take. Incidentally, the weather in Carnac is usually always friendly and, above all, a few degrees warmer than in the north of Brittany.
You want to read more about Brittany? Here are my tips for bird watching . Here I have general tips written for Brittany in the fall . And here you travel with me to the legendary fairy forest . The Mont-Saint-Michel is also a powerful place. Lanildut is the algae capital of Brittany - you can find out more here. And there is also a typical recipe, the Far Breton .