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Review of Cairn of Barnenez

Cairn of Barnenez
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Attraction details
Owner description: Situated on the Kernelehen peninsula in the Finistere-Nord region, the Barnenez Cairn is a truly exceptional megalithic site. This large tumulus is, in fact, composed of two adjacent cairns (stone pyramids), dating from 4500 to 3500 BC, known as the "Prehistoric Parthenon". This vast construction made entirely from carefully piled stones comprises eleven funeral chambers connected by galleries. The Barnenez site is a gem of the Neolithic age when mankind began to settle, develop livestock farming and agriculture, pottery, weaving and other civilised crafts. Open:> 2nd May to 30th June: from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.> 1st July to 4th September: from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.> 5th September to 30th April: from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Last admission 30 minutes before closing time. Closed:> Mondays from 5th September to 30th April.> 1st January, 1st May, 1st November, 11th November and 25th December. Admission fees: Adults : 5,50 €; Concessions (18 to 25) = 4,50 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Do you compare it to the Great Pyramids? To Carnac? To the Bru na Boinne by Drogheda? Unless you are fascinated by the dawn of civilization, this is but a pile of rocks. Unless you are curious, have imagination and are easily fascinated, the Tumulus de Barnenez is not for you. You can walk around it and see it all in half an hour or you can spend hours puzzling over it.

1  Thank DonPaulo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 - 36 of 186 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2012

I love the Neolithic period of history and Time Team so I loved here. It was a bit of a grey skied windy day when we visited but the views across the Bay of Morlaix to St Pol de Leon, Carentec and all the little villages along the western edge of the river were spectacular. The day we visited, there were tours in French every hour or so and I listened in a bit with my pidgeon French, the leaflet you get is quite a good explanation of the Cairn and it's got a romantic history of being saved in the 50's from a company who were quarrying and selling all the stones used to build it.

The children loved running in the meadow that surrounds it and it is full of the most beautiful variety of wildflowers, butterflies and bees.

The day we visited, a musician put on a show for more than an hour teaching the children about the kind of music and instruments used by the people who built the Cairn. He played tunes on a leaf, guord, stone xylophone, bagpipes made from an old plastic bottle and pipes made from reeds and sticks he cut off a branch with a pair of seceters and cut with a pen knife.

My son came away with a leaf pushed into a cut in a stick that made a sound when he blew it and another hollow stick with a hole in it with a piece of plastic bag rubberbanded over one end that makes a sound like a duck call that is his favourite souvenir of the holiday. My one regret was that he didn't end his demonstration, he just called over another group of children who had just arrived and I didn't get a chance to get his name, I think he was Breton and have a sneaking suspicion he plays modern Breton music in another life...

to get there, go by the coast road, beware Google maps sending you via the motorway. It doesn't really add any time as the roads are so empty and you'll miss the most spectaclar views (after all you are on holiday) We drove from Carantec to Morlaix to cross the bridge and follow the opposite bank of the river to Plouezoc'h

2  Thank Manc_Mummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

Go there - it is worth the detour. It is just a heap of stones but breathes the air of milleniums. It has long been forgotten and been unearthed accidentely when the cairn was exploited as a quarry.

1  Thank Stefan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2012

I've always been a lover of historical monuments and have visited a few over the years.
This Cairn is very very old, and sits on a hill that provides stunning views of the bays around.
The only aspect of the visit I found underwhelming was the Cairn itself, that whilst being of historical importance and value just had no 'wow' factor for me.
You cant go inside, and the two tunnels through the cairn are now closed off to the public.
So once you have strolled around it's perimeter and taken in the lovely view that's it really.
This attraction could really do with some investment to bring it to life and capture the imagination.
Although I'm pleased we went, and it didn't cost the earth to view, I'm not sure we'd go out of our way too far to visit this site again.

1  Thank simonofi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

Stunning approach along the D76 from Morlaix your first view of the Cairn is just prior to the beautifully located hamlet of Kemelehen.
Although the Cairn, built in 4500BC, is one of the oldest monuments of its type in the world, it has largley been 'restored' to some of its original glory by earlier excavation of the site and, whilst impressive, you need less than an hour to examine the site as all the entrances to the burial chambers have been closed off. You are not permitted to walk on the structure either, which makes th 5 euro entrance fee seem expensive.
I personally thought the site had a certain ambience and would be absolutely beautiful in the moonlight, but on a cold, wet and windy afternoon it would lose a lot of its charm.

1  Thank RobAshbydelaZouch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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