The tumulus of Saint Michel


This monumental megalithic monument, surmounted by St. Michael’s Chapel, looks out over the town of Carnac. It is the largest tumulus or burial mound in Europe. Built between 5,000 and 3,400 BC, it is gigantic: 125 metres long, 60 metres wide and 12 metres high.

The first excavations took place in 1862 via the vertical wells, extending 8 metres into the ground to reach the burial crypt which contained a beautiful piece of furniture, as well as pearls, tools and sillimanite. A dolmen was discovered and in the middle was a small main chamber, surrounded by 15 smaller graves.

The Tumulus of Saint Michel performed the same function as the pyramids in Egypt, a burial place for the elite, people who owned many different objects. These can be seen in the museum of prehistory in Carnac. The chapel which sits atop the site was founded and built in 1663 and destroyed in 1923, only to be rebuilt in 1926.

Text                             Alda Lesschen

Translation                 Alun Harvey


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