Sunday, 5 September 2010

Champ-Dolent Menhir

Back from France, so what picture would sum up my holiday.  Brittany has greatest concentration of megalithic stones in the world.  Wherever you go there will be one of a variety of structures within walking distance to gaze at and wonder about the people that constructed them 6000 years ago.  Despite a visit to the thousands of stones at Carnac, this single stone near Dol-de-Bretagne is my favourite. Standing nearly 32 feet (10m) high it is an impressive sight on the flat plain. This family group sitting on the small, polished stone at its base gives it scale in this photo.  The "sitting" stone of bluish granite is not the same material as the tall menhir and has been its companion for as long as anyone can remember.

It is a popular picnic spot as well as a photo opportunity, the area around it has been cleared since last I was here
when there was a corn field and big bushes.  There are many legends surrounding the stone. One tells how a battle was once fought between two feuding brothers. When the fighting was at its hight, and the field was running with blood, the menhir sprang up between the two sides, amazed by the miracle, the armies ceased fighting and made peace.  This legend gave the place its name, Field of Woe.

I like the other legend that that a piece of it is eaten by the moon every night, or that it is slowly sinking into the ground and when it disappears the world will end. It looks as though it is going to be there for a few more thousand years so I'm not too worried yet.

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