Things to see and do - Vannes
The Megalithic Stones of Morbihan :
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The Megalithic Stones of Morbihan
The Megalithic Stones of MorbihanBy car, 200 km, 3 days
Mysterious and fascinating Morbihan: where will you find its true identity? In its extraordinary collection of standing stones, its mild climate or the bracing and invigorating spray of the Quiberon peninsula?Customise this route and add it to My travel book
56000 Vannes (France)
Breton fights and tournaments took place here in 1532 to celebrate the union of Brittany with France and this square's name evokes this event. Saint Vincent Ferrier came here in 1418 to address the crowds, thus the saint's statue rests in a turret house.
Built on the Isle of Gavrinis some five thousand years ago, this tumulus is one of the most interesting megalithic monuments in Brittany. It is made of stones piled on a hillock and is 6m high and 50m in diameter. A 14m-long covered gallery, made of 9 cap stones resting on 23 carved supports, leads to a small funeral chamber (2.5m x 2.5m)which is roofed in by a single granite slab resting on supports covered with carvings.
You can admire beautiful 15C dwellings around St. Sauveur Square and on the uphill lanes of this charming port. The paving stones date from when St-Goustan was the third most important port in Brittany. The Benjamin Franklin Quay reminds us that in 1776, this illustrious American, who was in charge of negotiating a treaty with France, arrived at Auray, since head winds had prevented his ship The Reprisal, from sailing back to Nantes. The house he stayed at, nº 8, has a commemorative plaque.
Numerous Neolithic monuments make up this exceptional set. The first monument is the Great Broken Menhir, a broken monolith which once stood 20 m high and weighed 48 t. This menhir was the pivot of a 50-m alignment. The Merchant's Table is a funerary chamber, preceded by a 7-m long corridor. The site also includes the Er-Grah Tumulus, which was 170 m long, and two dolmens (Mané-Lud and Mané-Retual).
These alignments date approximately from the mid Neolithic age (3000 years BC). They stretch over a distance of 1167 m and a width of 100 m. They include 1099 menhirs displayed in 11 lines; the highest is 4 m high. They have a Southeast/North-East orientation. A cromlech (semicircle) can be found at each end: one has 70 menhirs, the other only has 25 (badly damaged).
56470 La Trinité-sur-Mer (France)
From ports to beaches, you will enjoy Sauzon, a small port dotted with sailing boats, the Pointe des Poulains, where Fort Sarah Bernhardt is located near to the home of the famous tragic actress. The sandy beach and rolling sea at Port Donnant are enclosed by high cliffs. Stops are also recommended at the Grand Phare (lighthouse with a magnificent panoramic view from its balcony), the curious mass of rocks at Port Goulphar, and at the Aiguilles de Port Coton one of the most spectacular attractions the coast has to offer.
On the west side of this fortress, its four towers and their machicolations, its windows and its skylights tower over the walls, once part of the palace built in 16C by Jean II. Today, only the foundations remain of the original walls of the château built on a terrace. But from the Pont de Ste-Croix (bridge), there is a view of the "prison-tower" and the façade of the main building. This facade is unique in Brittany due to its granite sculptures. Only the ground floor, restored in the 19C is open to visitors.