The Carnac stones are an exceptional collection of megalithic sites around the French village of Carnac, in Brittany.
The Carnac stones are an exceptional collection of megalithic sites around the French village of Carnac, in Brittany akin to the Stonehenge site in the UK.
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 stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany. Local tradition claims that the reason they stand in such perfectly straight lines is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin (Brittany has its own local versions of the Arthurian cycle).
The Carnac stones were erected during the Neolithic period which lasted from around 4500 BC until 2000 BC. The precise date of the stones is difficult to ascertain as little dateable material has been found beneath them, but the site's main phase of activity is commonly attributed to c. 3300 BC. One interpretation of the site is that successive generations visited the site to erect a stone in honour of their ancestors.
Carnac is on the coast of southern Brittany between Lorient and Vannes. Be sure to pay it a visit when you are next in Brittany.