The Menhir of Champ Dolent

Are you ready? The reward is at the top!

But what did Obelix do with this one? A big rock in the middle of a field, what an idea! For this must-see in the Dol-de-Bretagne region, we invite you to one of the most impressive and inspiring places in the region. About two kilometers from the Cathedral of Saint-Samson in Dol-de-Bretagne, in the middle of a corn field stands a Menhir, the Menhir du Champ-Dolent!

An impressive

A must!

In Breton, “Men” means stone and “hir” means long. This long stone with a height of 9.42 meters above the ground, a waist of 8.70 meters on its widest part and a total height of almost 13 meters, a part being buried in the ground, would undoubtedly be the greatest dream of our friend Obelix!”This Menhir which is the second largest standing menhir in Brittany, was classified as a Historical Monument in 1889.

Mysteries & Inspirations

The blow of the Menhir

The presence of this Menhir remains a mystery! And many questions arise, facing this imposing stone.Is it a funerary monument? A monument commemorating a great victory? But why this menhir in the middle of a field? The men of the late Neolithic period used logs to transport this menhir from the Bonnemain quarry, 4 kilometers from the Champ-Dolent. To move this Menhir of more than 100 tons in a single block, what a remarkable work!”Excavations in 1802 by Abbot Revert, an archaeologist from Dol-de-Bretagne, did not reveal much information on the explanation of its presence.And still an unsolved mystery?


Legends attempt to solve the mysteries of the Menhir du Champ-Dolent. The most widespread tells us of a terrible battle that two brothers and their armies fought in this place.It is said that “The carnage was such that the blood flowed freely, set in motion the wheel of the mill that was at the bottom of the valley and that in the midst of the fight two brothers came to blows: at once fell from the sky or rose from the ground, this gigantic block that separated them”.This legend would be an allusion to the battle that took place in Brittany in 560 AD between Clotaire I, King of the Franks and his son Chramme.It is also said that this carnage would be the origin of the name of Champ-Dolent, “Campus doloris”; field of pain but it seems the real Toponymy is “Campus Dolensis”; field of Dol.Another legend makes way there to mysticism, the menhir would be the work of Satan. Installed on the mound of Mont-Dol, Satan saw Saint-Samson building a Cathedral. Ulcers at seeing the saint take over a pagan site, Satan grabbed a rock and threw it at the construction. The rock mowed down the top of the North Tower of Saint-Samson’s Cathedral and went into the ground.

A silent spectator

During the centuries, the Menhir du Champ-Dolent was the spectator of the evolution of the world. This menhir was Christianized, a cross was installed at its top. Removed during the Revolution, the cross was replaced in 1816. It disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century, broken by a strong storm, it seems! At one time a money box was installed there, which explains the two holes that this menhir bears.Pagan or superstitious cults near megaliths, followed one another, it is said that this Menhir would be a source of energy and at a certain time the young girls wanting to have children, would go to rub it to increase fertility.This menhir seems eternal, but the legend says that it sinks imperceptibly into the ground at each death. When it disappears, the time of the last judgment will have come. Some even say that this menhir would serve as a link with the aliens! The Breton “X-files” no doubt … Case to follow!.But back to the concrete with a literary break: And yes Stendhal, was a tourist, like us!We learned that the master of the “The Red and the Black”, the one who gave birth to Julien Sorel, the writer Stendhal speaks of the Menhir du Champ-Dolent in his work “Memoir of a Tourist”.He deals with this must-see in these terms: “It is a quarter of a league from the city that you must go to find the famous stone of Champ-Dolent. Does this name remind us of human sacrifices? My guide gravely tells me that it was placed there by Caesar. Was it once in the middle of the forest? Now it is in the middle of a cultivated field. This menhir is twenty-eight feet high and ends in a point; at its base it has, according to my measurement, eight feet in diameter. All in all, it is a block of grayish granite whose shape represents a slightly flattened cone. It should be noted that this granite is only found more than three quarters of a league from the city, at Mont-Dol, a hill surrounded by marshes and which was probably once an island. The stone of Champ-Dolent rests on a quartz rock in which it sinks a few feet. By what mechanism were the Gauls, whom we imagine to be so little advanced in the arts, able to transport a mass of granite forty feet long and eight feet thick? How did they erect it?”

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