Cairn of Barnenez (Tumulus of Barnenez) in Brittany (Bretagne, France) to be Submitted to UNESCO for Status as a World Heritage Site

Jane at The Modern Antiquarian writes: “Barnenez will make you gasp in wonder. It’s so big and grand.” Barnenez is a Breton megalithic site in Brittany (Bretagne, France).

A Breton Farmer
Copyright © by Yvon 2008 (published by LawPundit with permission).


A gigantic ancient heap of pyramid-like megalithic stones in Brittany (Bretagne, France) has few ancient comparables in the world for the sheer size of this stone edifice.

The aerial view below is linked in doubled size from the website Cairn de Barnenez – Centre des monuments nationaux (photograph copyright by P. Beuzzen):


Nearly destroyed in modern times for greedy quarry use, the heap of stones called the Cairn (or Tumulus) of Barnenez was saved in the last minute and has now been restored. Barnenez measures ca. 72 metres long, about 20 to 25 metres wide, and up to 9 metres in height. It contains 11 dolmens and as many entrances (some sources say 12). The stones have a volume of 6500 to 7000 cubic metres and weigh 12000 to 14000 tons.


This is a front view of the Cairn of Barnenez (Cairn de Barnenez), in a Wikipedia Commons photograph by NewPapillon which we have reduced in size and to which we have added a bordering frame. See also the video, Reportage au Tumulus de Barnenez.

It is rather amazing that this phenomenal megalithic site is not yet a World Heritage Site. At the website, the Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map, thecaptain writes: “One of the most impressive ancient monuments I have ever visited.

As written at Brittany Ferries:

In reality, it is made up of two juxtaposed cairns, saved at the very last minute from destruction in 1955. The stone is decorated with figures of idols carved inside shields, carved signs forming V shapes and knapped axe-heads.

Andis Kaulins in his book Stars Stones and Scholars, in which ancient megaliths are seen as land survey locations sighted by astronomy, equates Barnenez with the axe-headed viz. V-headed figure and the two lines of adjacent nearly rows of stars which form the shape of Aquila and Serpens Cauda.

Perhaps the status of Barnenez may soon change, as Romain Guillou, the mayor of the nearby community Plouezoc’h, France, has reintroduced the site as a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site status (see 29252 Plouezoc’h, France).