Friday 1 October 2010

Carnac in Brittany

This card showing the beaches and standing stones at Carnac was sent from Vannes in Brittany at the height of the summer season four years ago.  In spite of the weather being "unpredictable", the whole place was very crowded according to the sender.  She goes on to say "Carnac is a bit like Stonehenge".

Either she didn't look at the standing stones in Carnac, or doesn't know Stonehenge at all.  Both sites are exceptional in their own right but very different.  There are over 3,000 stones in Carnac and are the largest collection of standing stones in the world, most arranged in straight lines.

Sadly, in the past many stones have been "recycled" for use in other buildings and possibly worst of all, to make way for roads.  Efforts to protect and manage the site are controversial.

This is a post for Postcard Friday, which is hosted by Beth Niquette at The Best Hearts are Crunchy.
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  1. I learn something new everyday. I had no idea about the standing stones at Carnac. Thanks. Happy PFF!

  2. I like the theory that these stones are primitive seismic instruments. That one makes the most sense based on their placement. Every thing isn't about Druids and -no!- there is no comparison to be made with Stonehenge. I am of the generation that can't hear the word Carnac without thinking of Johnny Carson's Carnac the Magnificent.

  3. Thank you for reminding me of Johnny Carson's character, The Great Carnac. So funny. But, I suppose, not related to this post.

    Yet, we have another French word that ends in "ac". Is it pronounced car-naw? Or have the Mackinac Bridge people been lying?

    Stones? Ah, now I see. No, not like Stonehenge. Easter Island? No, not Easter Island, either. Like Carnac.

  4. @Snap, they don't publicise them too much. They have been on the UNESCO tentative list for years and years.

    @MuseSwings, I'm so glad you agree, they are very different. Unfortunately I had never heard of Carnac the Magnificent until your comment. I have Googled and now I'm wiser. :)

    @Max, the Mackinac Bridge people have been lying. :) How do you pronounce cognac? Conyak? Carnac is much the same without the "y". Car-nak. There you go.

  5. French place names ending in "ac" date back to pre-Roman times. Celtic.

  6. I like the combination of beaches and standing stones on the card. Once you have walked along all the sites of standing stones a relax on the beach is just the thing. Luckily when I was there the weather was sunny and not 'unpredictable'.

  7. Lovely cards... amazing place depicted in them.

  8. I had never heard of the standing stones of Carnac either. Thanks for guiding us here. It must be an amazing place, and it is a pity the cards were not solely dedicated to the stones. Happy PFF.

  9. I knew nothing about this either. It looks like a lovely place to visit.

    It's too bad about the stones being used for other things. :-/

  10. Beautiful. This is a part of the world I know very little about, so thanks for posting it.

  11. What a beautiful place! Have never heard of it before and hope it is preserved for the future.

  12. It's shocking to know that these stones belong to the Neolithic period(around 4500 BC) and aren't being protected against natural weathering or erosion.

  13. Whilst I've seen and driven by Stonehenge on most of my visits back to the UK I've never seen the standing stones at Carnac...
    Jeff's comment made me smile, living as I do in Rome, which is itself a kind of open air museum! I think it would be logistically impossible to cover those stones - I think they'll be good to go for a few more millennia yet! ;-)

  14. @Joy, good thought. The two aspects of the place fit together well. We were there a couple of years ago and the weather was lovely.

    @Webbie Lady, thanks!

    @Bob, when I was there myself I did buy better postcards but forgot to save one for myself. I keep intending to have postcards made from some of my own photos. One day...

    @Carole, yes, it's a shame. I think that has stopped but too late for some areas.

    @Linda, well worth a visit if you have the chance.

    @Funoldhag, it really is lovely so it should be preserved.

    @Jeff, I think if it's survived this long it has a fair chance of continuing. I don't know how you'd go about protecting such a vast area.

    @Debs, I've been to Carnac twice now but I used to drive past Stonehenge daily - but never actually visited. I was in Rome 18 months ago - I am still in a state of amazement. :)

  15. In a way, nothing is set in stone - not even the stones...:)

  16. I've made it to Stonehenge but, somehow, I'd never heard of Carnac. Guess I'll have to go there in my next life!


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