Remarkable due to its dimensions: Over 50 meters in diameter, and 6 meters’ high with a global volume of 6 600m3 .
Built during the Neolithic ag, between 4250 and 4000 BC, the Cairn of Gavrinis overlays a dolmen with a 14 meters long corridor. At the end of this corridor, the only funerary chamber of the site, measuring 2,5 meters on the side. At the time, prestigious members of the local community were buried along with their most valuable belonging, attesting of their high social status (axes, jewelleries, ceramics…)
Nowadays, it overhangs the Gulf of Morbihan. However, 6000 years ago, It used to overhang the deep channel of the Vannes’s river. By imposing itself into the landscape that way, it fulfils a symbolic function and testifies the will of the Neolithic men to organise their communities and mark their territories.
Through the guided visit, you will learn more about the history of this monument and its historic period. Commonly called “The Sixtine chapel of the Neolithic”, the cairn of Gavrinis is a true architectural and ornamental gem. The scientists are still looking for answers concerning the meanings of this incredible engraved setting. Indeed, the 29 paving stones which are making up the inside of the monument are almost all engraved.
“almost all the stones which are making up the walls are engraved and covered with weird drawings. These are shapes, straight or broken lines, hundreds lines of drawings. There are chevrons, zizzag patterns and so many more lines, which are impossible to describe.” (Prosper Mérimée, travel notes written during his trip in the west of France in 1836)
A fascinating discovery!
By visiting the cairn of Gavrinis, you will be surprised by the technical achievements of the men and women of the Neolithic age. How did they managed to built such a monument? Some of the stones they used, come from some places far away from the actual location spot. One of them, a 23 tone stone for example, has been displaced for over 4km at a time where, the Gulfe of Morbihan was the small sea we know today. The visit of the Cairn of Gavrinis is a wonderful opportunity to reveal many mysteries.