© Les Globe Blogueurs

Unlock the secrets of the great megalithic sites

A family outing in the Gulf of Morbihan
Watch video

Unlock the secrets of the great megalithic sites

Not many people know that Morbihan is home to a priceless treasure: the world’s largest concentration of megalithic sites all in one place. This heritage is surrounded by stories and legends that make visitors of all ages keen to find out more.

gavrinis-e-berthier.jpg

Carnac and its mysterious alignments of menhirs

Arriving by road, you can’t miss seeing fields of menhirs stretching out for 4 km. These stones are perfectly aligned and were deliberately placed there sometime in the Neolithic period. The mystery surrounding their original function is fascinating. If you want to find out more, visit the discovery centre, the ‘Maison des Mégalithes’, where you’ll find exhibitions, films and interactive displays explaining the various aspects of the stones. Guided tours will help you to appreciate the complexity of the site, while children can join in role-playing activities based on every day and prehistoric scenarios. From sunrise to sunset, the atmosphere changes and the stones work their magic.

Alignments of menhirs

Locmariaquer, a super-size menhir

Visiting the Locmariaquer megalithic site is a moving experience. One of the stones, the great Er Grah broken menhir, is very curious. It lies on the ground in four pieces but once stood 20 metres high and weighed 300 tonnes. The stone always amazes visitors, whatever their age. It’s incredible to imagine how it was transported back then, and the same goes for the other 18 monumental standing stones. The ‘Table des marchands’ (Merchants’ Table) looks like a great hiding-place for kids playing hide-and-seek, but it’s actually a fine example of a collective tumulus passage grave, decorated with astonishing carvings. Together with the Er Grah tumulus, a monumental example of funerary architecture, it forms a remarkable site that will give you plenty of food for thought.

Locmariaquer megalithic site

The Gavrinis tumulus, a hidden treasure

Some of the Morbihan megaliths are hidden away, which is the case for the Gavrinis tumulus. When it was erected, its position on a high point meant that it was easily seen, but today it is hidden by pine-trees and can only be accessed by boat. When you enter the site, you’ll immediately notice the beauty of the carved stelæ, the ancient gravestones. Although some of the designs are used several times, each stone reveals the work of an artist with a unique style. Your visit will let you step out of time, giving you a lesson in prehistory in a pastoral setting.

A surprising bit of trivia is that one of the stones in the tumulus roof is part of a gravestone from the ‘Table des Marchands’ passage grave at Locmariaquer. It just goes to show that even back then they were thinking about recycling!

Gavrinis

To visit nearby: the Château de Suscinio

This medieval castle rising up out of the marshes and woodland is a perfect place for a family outing. Rooted in its own time, the castle offers an interactive exhibition about local history and legends. If you take a walk or bike ride along one of the pathways across the marshland that surrounds the castle, you’ll find an unexpected wealth of plants and wildlife.

Le Domaine de Suscinio

More information

  • In summer, there are night-time shows at Carnac and the Château de Suscinio – a different way to learn about heritage.
  • A discount is available if you visit several megalithic sites (the Carnac stones, Locmariaquer, Gavrinis, the Cairn du Petit Mont and the Prehistory Museum)
  • An app is available (IOS and Android) to help you understand the Carnac alignments: there’s a Discovery Route, which is free, or a Complete Route for €1.29 (Carnac alignments). In summer, you can only enter the Carnac alignments with a guide.

You might also like...

Official website of tourism in Brittany