The megaliths of Locmariaquer!

So let me bring you closer to me just south of me in fact on the coast. This is Locmariaquer in my Morbihan region of Brittany. I come here often and other than the beautiful beach and bars (see my other posts) I need to touch more in detail the megaliths of Locmariaquer.

These are stones really that it seems nobody has determine where they come from or how they were done or what purposes! There are a lot of hypothèses but not a real conclusion accepted by all responsible organisms. I will just tell you a bit on them borrowed from their official sites.

The town of Locmariaquer is located at the western mouth of the Gulf of Morbihan and has many beaches overlooking the Bay of Quiberon, western part of Mor Braz which opens access to the Atlantic Ocean. Love to come here for a drink or lunch across from the bridge into the sea!

Another wonderful site to come and see is the megaliths of Locmariaquer or the ancient stones monument of this region. The town is another major site for them. Locmariaquer is home to a remarkable concentration of megaliths. The grouping is about 10 kms from Carnac and considered one of the most complete site.

locmariaquer

Some of these are the large, shattered menhir of Er Grah, the world’s largest menhir, nearly 20 meters, and weighting  280 tons!!!, the biggest stone in Europe!!!, and done 2000 years before those of Carnac , currently broken into four pieces. The impressive dimensions of this menhir still divide specialists as to the techniques used for its transport and implementation, but the work done by the Neolithic remains remarkable.

locmariaquer

Locmariaquer

Cairn of the Merchant’s Table:  Dated 3,700 BC north-south orientation. This dolmen, about 12 meters long, has a room whose height is unusual in this type of monument: almost 2.50 meters! In fact, the explanation lies in the chronology of the construction of this burial. The magnificent carved sandstone slab, forming the back of the room, was originally erected in the open air. It depicts an idol in a crest, surrounded by a radiant hair, and covered with butts. The back of this stele also bears engravings. The ceiling slab of the room is also decorated with engravings: an axe, a butt, and the lower part of a bovid. This last engraving being incomplete, it is understood that the slab was originally intended to be larger, and that it was broken. Indeed, the second part of this block was found on the dolmen of the island of Gavrinis, and the third is probably the cover slab of the mound of Er Grah.

locmariaquer

Mounds of Er Grah:  About 4,000 BC The tomb, without access from the outside, was in a first phase surrounded by a cairn of stones, then it was enlarged by the construction of two extensions of stone and earth, bringing its total length to nearly 140m! Probably the burial of an important figure, who justified such a deployment of works, the vault, looted several times, unfortunately delivered only a pendeloque in green variscite.  offering a unique witness to the exceptional funeral rites practice in Brittany at the time of the Neolithic era. The flat stones, a long-bent dolmen of nearly 25 meters.

Dolmen of Kercadoret :  Located on the left of the route d’ Auray road D781 when you go to Locmariaquer, this little dolmen has kept only the 6 support slabs of the room as well as a block of cover.  It is known from this tomb that it was reused in the Bronze Age, as evidenced by the discovery of a copper javelin tip and very beautiful flint arrowheads.

Dolmen of Kerveresse : All that remains of this monument is the bedroom and a hallway primer, 13 pillars support 2 slabs of roof. Inside, on some of the pillars, are engraved with butts, and you can also see cupules on the ceiling.

The Mane-Lud tumulus :  Dolmen dated to the Middle Neolithic, reused in the early Bronze Age around 2,220 BC. This dolmen, accessible by the departmental road D781 and located on the edge of the Nélud subdivision. We go down a modern staircase. It is oriented north-south, the corridor, begun by modern constructions, was about 6 meters long, and the room was about 3.60 meters long. 29 blocks serve as a support for 5 slabs of cover, and the floor is made up of two huge slabs.  Eight of the supports are engraved, and bear frequent symbols on the megaliths of the region: corniforms, butts, axe blades and axes shriveled, serpent form, cupules, crests, and symbols sometimes interpreted as rowing boats. The floor of the chamber is made up of a carved slab, the very particular shape of which evokes an idol in crest. It is most likely a stele, (erected stone) originally erected in the open air, and used for reuse for the paving of this dolmen, as well as for the large roof slab.  To the east of this dolmen, the east-west oriented mound is in fact a mound, probably dated to the Bronze Age (dimensions 80 x 50 meters and 5.50 meters high), and which contained a funerary vault as well as five standing stones surmounted by horse skulls in the eastern part. Objects presented at the Vannes and Carnac Museums.

locmariaquer

Tumulus of Mané et Hroêk; this tumulus, 100 meters long and 60 meters wide, 10 meters high, was excavated in 1863. This princely tomb concealed in its center a four-meter long burial chamber in which the researchers found exceptional furnishings, comprising of 106 polished axes in jade, as well as beads and pendulous in variscite, hidden for the most part under the paving of the vault. At the entrance to the room were three fragments of a carved slab. The decoration represents in the center a crest, figuration of the mother goddess, containing a horned sign and two small sticks; above and below, a series of driven axes and finally, at the bottom, a more combusting axe, with a ring at the bottom of the handle.

Room and tumulus of the Mané-Rutual :  Accessible via the ruelle de Bronzo.  Around 3,800 BC The hallway and the bedroom are about 15 meters long, the room is double: on two occasions, an advance of blocks on each side forms a narrowing, which compartmentalizes the room into two parts (we can speak of antechamber and chamber). 39 supports form the walls; the whole is covered by 6 slabs. The roof slab of the room is 11.30 meters long and 4 meters wide, and is largely overflowing on the back of the monument. It is decorated with a magnificent crest, and was also originally a large stele intended to be erected, and which was later reused in roof slab.  On the ceiling of the antechamber, there is an axe-Prue, a motif found on one of the supports of this part of the monument. On the next block are two butts. Objects found in excavation presented at the Vannes museum.

Men Er Letionec: Pointe de Kerpenhir, on the edge of the Gulf, this 3.4 meters high menhir would be the only remnant of an ancient cromlech.

Locmariaquer

Mein Er Mere: Visible at low tide north of the village pier, this 8 meters block is a menhir, but it is not clear what it does at this location: was it erected there, it would testify in this case of the rise of the waters since the Neolithic  or was it being transported?

Some webpages to help you further enjoy these wonderful sites are

Official National Monument info on the megaliths of Locmariaquer

The city of Locmariaquer on the megaliths in French

There you go and if you want to mix history architecture and old stones with beautiful beaches and great fish/seafood then you must come to Locmariaquer! Only 28 km from me or about 17 miles!

And remember, happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!

2 Comments to “The megaliths of Locmariaquer!”

  1. I love this type of thing as the mystery surrounding the stones and burials are open to imagination. Nice! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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