Ancient Stone Formations Carnac (Video Included)

The Carnac stones are an exceptionally dense collection of megalithic sites around the French village of Carnac, in Brittany, consisting of alignments, dolmens, tumuli and single menhirs. The more than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany, and are the largest such collection in the world. 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 or Saint Cornelius – Brittany has its own local versions of the Arthurian cycle. A Christian legend associated with the stones held that they were pagan soldiers in pursuit of Pope Cornelius when he turned them to stone.


Most of the stones are within the Breton village of Carnac, but some to the east are within La Trinité-sur-Mer. The stones were erected at some stage during the Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BC, but some may date to as old as 4500 BC. In recent centuries, many of the sites have been neglected, with reports of dolmens being used as sheep shelters, chicken sheds or even ovens. Even more commonly, stones have been removed to make way for roads, or as building materials. The continuing management of the sites remains a controversial topic.


There are several dolmens scattered around the area. These dolmens are generally considered to have been tombs, however the acidic soil of Brittany has eroded away the bones. They were constructed with several large stones supporting a “capstone”, then buried under a mound of earth. In many cases, the mound is no longer present, sometimes due to archeological excavation, and only the large stones remain, in various states of ruin.

Learn more from Wikipedia.

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4 Responses to Ancient Stone Formations Carnac (Video Included)

  1. Ron says:

    I have been to see these stones at Carnac. They are over a very large area. When people have looked at the photo’s not many have even heard of them, yet everyone knows Stonehenge. I don’t think it’s right for anyone to remove these stones to make way for roads etc. When I was there people were still studying them, but nobody has really got an explaination as yet.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Ron,
      It’s a pity they are not more widely known, there is a lot to see at Carnac, and you would think a great tourist attraction. I have never had the pleasure of seeing these stones, maybe one day.

  2. travelrat says:

    I’ve heard of Carnac, but didn’t realise it was so big. I think Avebury claimed to be the biggest stone CIRCLE in Europe, but this seems to cover a greater area.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      Yes they do seem to be over a very wide area. I think they are fascinating. Instead of a circle though they seem to be all in a line, so the claim at Avebury would still stand even though smaller in size.
      It sort of reminded me a bit of the sphinxes at Luxor, all in a row, before arriving at the temple or tomb. Seeing there are also tombs at Carnac as well, with the stones all in a row. It was the first thing that hit me actually.

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