Meetings at an archaeological site: Carnac in Brittany


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Disclosure & Image Rights: Air France supports us with air travel. Picture material created with a free provided camera of our sponsor Olympus. Relais du Silence has taken over the costs of our hotel stays in some of our researches. Artwork created as part of a free collaboration with Shutterstock. Image location: Tumulus St. Michel, Carnac, Brittany, France.

South Brittany has one of the most important historic sites in France: Carnac. The 4227 community is famed for its 3000 Stone Age menhirs and the largest tumulus on mainland Europe. Next to it, the hotel of the same name, called Tumulus, offers itself for meetings and seminars - practically at the excavation site.

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The stone rows

Overview

The stone rows of single standing menhirs and the dolmens of granite were reached in the Neolithic period and date approximately between 4500 and 3300 before Christ. They form the groups of Kerlescan, Le Menec and Kermario and extend on fenced meadows over three kilometers.

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Originally it was 3000 stones that are high between 0,5 and 4,0 m. In the Maison des Mégalithes au Ménec, a visitor center built especially for this purpose, guided tours can be booked and information on the stone rows can be found. Apart from its historical fame, Carnac is also a well-known bathing and beach town today, which is very busy, especially in the summer months.

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The largest cemetery in Europe

Overview

The Tumulus St. Michel, the largest mound on the continent of Europe with a length of 125 m and a width of 60 m, lies just three kilometers south of the stone rows. It is about 10 m high and contains steinkists and a dolmen, which were formerly publicly accessible, but are now closed to the public due to a risk of collapse.

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At the top of the burial mound there is a chapel for the Archangel Michael and a stone cross with a picturesque view over the Gulf of Morbihan - unfortunately also not accessible at the moment.

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Zacharie Le Rouzic

Overview

The history of Carnac is closely linked to archaeologist and prehistoricist Zacharie Le Rouzic, who, together with James Miln, is the author of the prehistoric museum Carnacs. Le Rouzic's research contributed significantly to the recognition of the historical significance of the stone series and the preservation of the monument.

Zacharie had excavated the Tumulus St. Michel and bought the land around it and opened a small visitor center here. 1901 he and his family moved into the house called "Kerdolmen". In the 20ern, his eldest daughter Julienne opened the Hotel of the Saint-Michel Tumulus, which was taken over by her younger sister Josephine in the 30ern.

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Hotel Du Tumulus

Overview

The beautiful panoramic dining room of the hotel also dates back to this time. Bungalows, private gardens and a pool were added to the 70ern. It was later expanded by a small wellness area with 2 WellnessCabins, a steam room and a hot tub.

1979, the Hotel Du Tumulus was taken over by Josephine's granddaughter Gwénaëlle Wilhelm, then 18. She runs the hotel until today. Since 2006 the hotel belongs to the cooperation of the Relais de Silence hotels.

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Rooms and suites

Overview

The 18 rooms and 6 suites are simple but comfortably furnished with solid wood furniture - even in the bathroom - and decorated in pastel shades. The prices vary according to season and equipment: They start at 66 Euro in the autumn, but in the summer can come close to 200 Euro, the suites are even higher.

Some rooms have direct sea view, the others are facing the garden. The house has a quite well functioning ADSL connection, which is available in the rooms but unfortunately only for an extra charge and in the bar, salon and restaurant and of course the meeting room can be used free of charge.

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Meetings and seminars

Overview

The so-called hydrangea room offers space for a maximum of 50 persons, depending on the seating. However, the dining room with space for up to 100 persons can also be used in the low season. In addition to WLAN, the hotel also offers an LCD screen, a projector and a flipchart.

Further equipment as well as cafe or appetizers can be requested by arrangement and at an extra charge. Group should book at least six months in advance, during the main season in July and August, seminars are virtually impossible because the hotel has many regular guests, including the Rothschild family. The price for the seminar room has to be discussed individually.

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Butter in tricelliform form

Overview

The hotel is very traditional, which is also reflected in the cuisine, which is made up of many local products and therefore varies according to the season.

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A nice detail is the butter: it is specially poured into molds to be served as a Triskell, the Celtic symbol of Brittany.

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Worth seeing on arrival: Rennes

Overview

For those who like it historically, a visit to the historic center of Rennes, the capital of Brittany, is recommended upon arrival. Here you can admire the well-preserved medieval half-timbered houses - a building tradition that extends from Brittany to the middle of the 17. Century draws.

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Also well preserved are parts of the medieval town fortifications such as the Duchesne Tower and Portes Mordelaises, one of the most important fortifications of Rennes.

With Airfrance you can fly to Rennes or Nantes, then continue by train to Auray or Carnac, with the train station a few kilometers from Carnac.

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Cathedral and Parliament

Overview

The cathedral of St. Pierre, known in its present form, is the third sacred edifice erected here. The monumental façade was completed by 1704; the church ship and the choir are from the second half of the 19. C.

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Also worth seeing is the "Parlement" from the 17. Century, originally government building, today the highest court of the region. 1994 was severely damaged in a fire and rebuilt.

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