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Carnac Stones

Photo © Andy Hay. View all images in our Carnac Stones Photo Gallery.
Photo © Andy Hay.
Photo © Thomas Guignard.
Photo © Neil Weightman.
Photo © Neil Weightman.
Photo © Neil Weightman.

Carnac is a small village of about 5,000 people in the region of Brittany, northwestern France. It is home to the Carnac Stones, a system of more than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones.

History

The Carnac Stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany.

The megaliths were erected during the Neolithicperiod which lasted from 4500 BC until 2000 BC. The precise date of the stones is difficult to ascertain as little dateable material has been found beneath them.

About 3300 BC is the date most commonly estimated for the site's main phase of activity, but some megaliths may date to as early as 4500 BC.

One interpretation of the site is that successive generations visited the site to erect stones in honor of their ancestors.

What to See

The Carnac Stones consist of both single standing stones (menhirs) and multistone clusters (dolmens).

There are two main groups of stone alignments at Carnac, which are known as the Menec and Kermario alignments. Further smaller alignments are dotted around the area including the Kerlescan and the Petit Menec.

The Menec alignments are 12 converging rows of menhirs stretching more than a kilometre with the remains of a stone circle at either end. The largest stones, around 4m high, are at the wider, western end; they become smaller along the length of the alignment reaching around 0.6m high, at the extreme east they grow to in height.

A little further along to the east, this fanning layout is virtually repeated in what is called the Kermario alignment.

Quick Facts on Carnac Stones

Site Information
Names:Carnac Stones
City:Carnac
State:Brittany
Country:France
Categories:Megaliths; Standing Stones
Faiths:Prehistoric
Feat:Largest
Styles:Neolithic
Dates:4500-2000 BCE
Status:ruins
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Carnac, France
Coordinates:47.593047° N, 3.081107° W  (view on Google Maps)
Website:carnac.monuments-nationaux.fr
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Carnac Stones

Below is a location map and aerial view of Carnac Stones. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Carnac stones - Wikipedia
  2. menhirs - Fodors.com
  3. Carnac Attractions - Frommers.com

More Information

Article Info

Title:Carnac Stones
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:12/12/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/france/carnac-stones
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/carnac-stones">Carnac Stones</a>