Did you know that “Carnac”, in Breton, means “place where there is a pile of stones”? This small town in the Morbihan, close to Quiberon Bay, is well-named as it’s home to the largest megalithic site in the world. Here, 3000 standing stones are placed in lines over a distance of over 4 km, like sculptures from another era …
A visit to Carnac is a journey to the heart of Humanity and a major archaeological adventure. This little commune in the Morbihan backs on to the sea and contains nearly 3000 standing stones erected between the 5th and the 3rd millennium B.C. These alignments are unique in the world and form an outstanding site that gives us a clearer understanding of Neolithic civilisation. Like a petrified army of soldiers, the 3000 standing stones form several architectural groups, including dolmens, menhirs, tumuli and cromlechs … The Carnac site covers nearly 4 km and should be visited from east to west, starting with Kerlescan, Kermanio, Le Petit Ménec and Le Ménec. During the visit, one particular menhir attracts the attention through its position: the Giant of Manio. Isolated in the middle of a clearing, it rises to a height of 6.50m and has been listed as a historic monument since 1900. Why all these aligned stones? Everything points to the idea that these menhirs had a sacred function: religious monuments, funeral worship, moon or sun worship, harvest calendar … Tours are organised with guides to help visitors learn as much as possible about the wonders of this megalithic site, and the objects discovered during digs are on display in Carnac’s Musée de la Préhistoire.
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Enjoy a good time with your family
If access to the Carnac alignments is possible in complete freedom, nothing beats a visit with a tour guide to appreciate all the richness of this immense megalithic complex. And if you want to exposed you to the lives of Neolithic men, the Centre des Monuments Nationaux offers introductions to the gestures of Prehistory. Lighting the fire, firing the propeller or moving blocks of stone are on the program of these workshops, to be lived with family or friends, during the school holidays. Detailed programme on www.menhirs-carnac.fr
The Maison des mégalithes, reception area, information, ticket office, bookshop-boutique is open every day (except on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th).