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Did you visit Brittany this summer? If so, you may well have gone to see the Carnac stones.

Carnac itself is a small town close to the sea in southern Brittany with its own elegant beach on Quiberon Bay. Striding across the nearby countryside, and unmissable, are the Carnac stones described on Wikipedia as “…a dense collection of megalithic sites around the village of Carnac…alignments, dolmen (stone tombs), tumuli (earth mounds with burials) and single menhirs (standing stones)…” There are also cromlechs (circles). If you love Stonehenge, you will love Carnac.

There are about 3 000 stones, and they pre-date Stonehenge, but there must be a connection. What that connection is, is just one more mystery. Carnac may have been started as early as 4 500 BC and was added to for probably over a thousand years. It is at the end of that period when Stonehenge was begun.

Myths and legends surround the Carnac stones, as they do Stonehenge, and the stories are similar. The Carnac stones were thought to be associated with the Solstices, the Druids, and Arthur and Merlin are drawn in too. The most popular story is that one of the early Popes (or, according to some versions, Merlin himself) was being chased by pagan soldiers. Coming to the sea, the pursued man turned to face the enemy and transformed them into stone.

 

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