Megaliths in Languedoc-Roussillon   4 comments

Megaliths in the Aude departement, Languedoc

The megaliths of Languedoc-Roussillon may not be as impressive or as famous as those in Brittany, but they are nearly as numerous and almost as large. There are 500 in Lozère, 400 in Gard, 400 in Hérault, 100 in Pyrenées-Orientales and about the same here in the Aude. Though few in number the megaliths of this area are well worth exploring : two of the biggest menhirs in the south of France can be found here – Malves at 5 metres/25 tons and Counozouls at 9 metres/70 tonnes, as well as two of the longest barrow-graves – Pepieux at 15 metres and Saint-Eugène at 24 metres.
Size is impressive, but it’s not everything – and while the rest may be smaller and often in a poor condition, their placement in the landscape is usually dramatic – making the exploration of the sites a breathtaking experience.
The Corbières and Minervois hills make up most of this unpopulated and little-explored corner of France and there are great possibilities for finding vestiges of as yet uncharted sites on the limestone uplands, or the wooded mountain-sides, or on the slopes of the garrigue.

There is no evidence that either Gauls, Iberians or Romans caused the widespread damage to megaliths – in fact some dolmens were used by the Romans as shepherds’ huts and temporary shelters, while in other cases the Visigoths returned them to their original function as tombs. It was the edict issued by the christianised Charlemagne, in 800, that set the anti-pagan forces in motion resulting in the widespread smashing of capstones and scattering of uprights. Some sites were entirely dimantled, the stones then used to build chapels and churches on the same ground. Where this proved impracticable, the christian authorities attributed malificent powers to the megaliths, or manufactured stories of sacrificial practices around them.

Posted January 24, 2008 by Richard Williams

4 responses to “Megaliths in Languedoc-Roussillon

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I don’t know if you know of the burial site just North East of Villarzel-Cabardes, NE od Carcassonne. It has about 40 stone lined graves dating back several thousand years. I have a photo of the information plaque for the site somewhere on our other PC and if you are interested I can send you both the position and a copy of the photos I have. We live just South of Villarzel and have been here for about 1 1/2 years full time and are fascinated by the history of the area.

  2. I’d appreciate that. It’s not an area I know at all – except the Cabardes region is the world’s top organic wine producer.
    My interest in this corner if Languedoc started with the finding of photos and documents of the original owners of this old house – and has accelerated back in time to this point!

  3. Hi,
    Very interesting. I have been reading a lot for many years, first about Rennes Le Chateau, but then a lot more about the whole of southern France. This is one of the strangest landscapes anywhere on Earth. There are more unexplained phenomena than just the small village of Rennes Le Chateau and Berrengier Saunier. It seems there is an underground hidden ‘stream’ of esoteric knowledge in this whole region of France, maybe hundreds if not thousands of square miles. Since you are interested in megaliths, I am wondering if you or anyone know anything about the strange rock walls of ‘Grand Camp’, a massive stone wall of stacked stones and the many beehive stone piled houses near the wall? This mentioned in Henry Lincolns books and his dvds. This to me, is one of the most unexplainable features or structures of this whole area. What could it have possibly been for?? And it truly is massive, looking like maybe 6 to 10 feet wide, and 6 to 8 feet high. Thanks for any info you may have or know.

    • You : This is one of the strangest landscapes anywhere on Earth. There are more unexplained phenomena than just the small village of Rennes Le Chateau and Berrengier Saunier. It seems there is an underground hidden ‘stream’ of esoteric knowledge . . .

      Me : No there isn’t, and no there aren’t. And no – there isn’t.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: