Menhir de Champ-Dolent – the Breton largest standing megalith

Sladjana Perkovic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

When visiting Brittany, you should definitely make a stop at the Menhir de Champ-Dolent. Situated in the middle of the cornfield, some 2 kilometers from the city center of Dol-de-Bretagne, this is one of the most inspiring and impressive places in this region. The Breton largest standing megalith is also a French historical monument, so it deserves a spot on your must-see list. 

A story about the Menhir de Champ-Dolent                 

Maybe you are wondering what menhir actually is. Often, this is a large human-made standing stone from the middle Bronze Age. They are widespread all over Western Europe, especially in France, Great Britain, and Ireland. The word "menhir" comes from the old Breton meaning the "long stone," and usually they were used to mark a border or the entrance to a dolmen (cemetery). If you are a comic's lover, then you probably remember Obelix, a famous character, who was actually a menhir cutter. Brittany is a French region where you can see many megaliths, but the Menhir de Champ-Dolent is the largest one. Oval in shape and made of pink granite, this menhir is 9.5 meters high and weighs about 100 tones. It was listed as a French historic monument since 1889. Joseph Déchelette, a French archaeologist and museum curator, declared it as "one of the most beautiful menhirs in France" for a good reason.

The legend

According to the legend, a terrible battle started between two brothers and their armies. The Menhir de Champ-Dolent came out of the ground, separated them, and stopped the fight. In the other version of this story, the menhir has fallen from the sky. But, some other myths are a bit more dramatic. One of them is saying that this standing stone is sinking into the ground. The day when it disappears completely, the end of the world will come. Another interesting thing about this place is that it was Christianized in the 19th century. A cross was put on its top, which probably has saved it from the destruction. These things were happening all the time to many pagan symbols. For example, locals often used those massive stones for building their houses.

© iStockphoto/hardyuno

Practical information

To find the Menhir de Champ-Dolent, you should follow the departmental D795 road. The Breton largest megalith is situated some 2 kilometers south of Dol-de-Bretagne, in the middle of the cornfield. Therefore the closest restaurants and bars are in Dol-de-Bretagne. However, next to this menhir, you can find a small picnic area equipped with a few benches and tables so that you can take your lunch break here. 

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