Le Grand Dolmen de Lauriol   Leave a comment

Lauriol dolmen 2, from the foot

Lauriol dolmen, from the foot to the N.

We drove out of Siran on the D56, which takes you swiftly up away from the vines and into the pines above. The road winds round the side of Pic St. Martin, the Gallo-Roman stronghold, and up into the limestone garrigue. Pass the ‘Curiosité de Lauriol’ – an optical illusion that makes the up-sloping road look like it’s going downhill, and which attracts the bored and curious on a sunday – and go on a few hundred metres to a large farmhouse on the left.

Lauriol dolmen 3 showing the massive cracked 'table'.

Lauriol dolmen showing the massive cracked 'table'.

Bruno Marc, in his excellent Dolmens et Menhirs de Languedoc-Roussillon, suggests you park at the house and walk past it. There is now however a sign saying Privé, and a dog – so it’s better to continue 200 m. where a newly widened track marked AVV1 turns down left. It would be possible to drive directly to the dolmens, but we parked at the top and walked down. Follow another AVV1 marker pointing right, and it’s only a few hundred metres on ’til you see the big stones on the left of the track. The setting and the view out over ‘la plaine’ to Alaric mountain and the Pic du Canigou is magnificent.

The local name for the dolmen is ‘Casulha ‘, or La Grande Case – and one cannot but regret, with Bruno, that the enormous ‘table‘ deserves to be reconstituted to its former size of 6 m. by 4 m. The dolmen is in fairly good condition, with most orthostats standing.

lauriol dolmen 6

lauriol dolmen, from the track to the S.

This dolmen, and the nearby one at Mousse, both ‘face’ due south.

lauriol dolmen 5

lauriol dolmen, looking N. to the headstone

The co-ordinates from GeoPortail.fr are 2. 39’49” E, 43. 20’59” N. or 2.663600, 43.349700 in decimal degrees.

Posted October 27, 2008 by Richard Williams

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