Boasting a spectacular hillside location among olive and cork trees, the Almendres Cromlech (Cromeleque dos Almendres) stone circle is the most important megalithic site in Portugal. Consisting of 96 standing stones arranged in an oval, it dates from 5000-4000 BC.
The stones of the Cromeleque dos Almendres were erected in several different periods in the Neolithic era, between 5000 and 4000 BC. As with most prehistoric sites, its purpose is not known for certain. The stones seem to be astronomically and geometrically aligned and were probably used for sacred rituals of some kind.
What to See
It is easy to see why the prehistoric inhabitants of Portugal regarded this site as sacred. Enjoying a peaceful setting among olive and cork trees, the stones occupy a hillside with grand views. Today, this view includes the town of Evora, originally founded as a Roman settlement in the 1st century BC.
About 95 stones are aligned in an oval shape that extends some 70 meters down the hillside. The stones face downhill, like frozen figures enjoying the view. Some of the stones are engraved with designs.
The Almendres Cromlech is located 15km west of Evora. From Evora, take the N114 highway towards Montemor/Lisbon and follow the signs for the site from Guadalupe. If coming from the south, from Escoural and Valverde, turn left in Guadalupe at the Café Barreiros. A dirt road (passable by cars) leads the last 4.5 km to the site.
Quick Facts on Almendres Cromlech
|Names:||Almendres Cromlech; Cromeleque dos Almendres; Cromoleque dos Almendres|
|Dates:||c. 5000-4000 BCE|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||38.557621° N, 8.061256° W (view on Google Maps)|
|Lodging:||View hotels near this location|
Map of Almendres Cromlech
Below is a location map and aerial view of Almendres Cromlech. 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.
- Os Almendres - Rough Guide to Portugal, 12th edition
- Lonely Planet Portugal (2007), 230.
|Link code:||<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/portugal/almendres-cromlech">Almendres Cromlech</a>|