Menhir of Champ Dolent – Largest standding megalith in Northern Brittany
Menhir of Champ Dolent is located a stone’s throw from the medieval town of Dol de Bretagne.
It’s the largest standing megalith in northern Brittany, with a height of about 10m high and a circumference of 8.70m at its widest part.
Excavations showed that the first traces of human occupation in Brittany dated from around 700,000BC.
However, we know very little about the Neolithic folks who settled in the region between 5500BC and 2000BC.
We only know that they erected the many megaliths that have become one of the iconic images of Brittany.
The Menhir of Champ Dolent is one of these.
The lack of oral tradition reinforced the mystery of these megaliths.
What was their original purpose? Were they religious or funeral monuments?
The Legend of Satan and Menhir of Champ Dolent
Menhir du Champ Dolent is no exception to the rule.
The impressive megalith is indeed linked to the foundation of St. Samson Cathedral of Dol de Bretagne!
Legend has it that one day Satan stood on the Mont Dol, one of two hills that peaked above an ancient marsh.
From there, he caught sight of St. Samson building a cathedral atop the second hill, Dol de Bretagne.
However, the thought that a Christian edifice should be built on a pagan site infuriated Satan.
He therefore took a ‘huge rock’ and threw it towards the cathedral.
The ‘rock’ damaged the top of the north tower, then landed by the village of Kerfeunteun-Carfantin. The place is known as Champ du Petit Dol or Champ Dolent.
The other two legends
A second legend explains that Menhir de Champ Dolent appeared during the terrible fight that opposed two brothers.
They shed so much blood that it ran down into the water that turned the wheel of the mill downhill in the valley.
The Saints in Heaven took pity on the brothers and brought out a ‘huge stone’ from the ground in order to separate them and therefore end their fight.
Finally, a third legend relates how Menhir de Champ Dolent sinks into the ground every time someone dies.
The end of the world and doomsday will therefore occur when it has completely disappeared.
Department of Ille-et-Vilaine – Along D4 at Carfantin (road-signed)
Access is very easy. There’s a small car park and a picnic area next to it
Coordinates: Lat 48.535335 – Long 1.739366