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 Location: Pleumeur Bodou, Brittany, France.  Grid Reference: 48° 47.32 N, 3° 32.67 W.

 

St. Uzec menhir      St. Uzec: (Chritianised Menhir).

The grand old Christianised menhir of St. Uzec is found on the edge of an old track from Pleumeur-Bodou to Penvern (along the hiking trail GR34).

Surmounted with a small cross, it is one of most imposing of Trégor, standing 8m high and 3m broad. One of its faces is engraved with various symbols suggested to be instruments of the 'passion of Christ', while the other is covered with large grooves, commonly presumed to be caused by rainfall.

The low-reliefs were apparently carried out at the same time as the  building of the Chapel du St. Uzec.

The image, (right) is from the 1930's, in which the engravings are still painted, as is the crucifixion below.

 

 

 

   St. Uzec: ('St. Duzec', 'St. Uzege')

The menhir's back face has the appearance of being weather-worn, with several prominent grooves running down it. These grooves are similar to those seen on the 'Devil's arrows' in Yorkshire, England. They are commonly presumed to have been caused by weathering, although if this were the case, then one would expect to see it on other menhirs in both regions.

(Other Examples of Grooved Stones)

St. Uzec menhir, france

The depth, number and distinction of lines are suggestive of the 'human-touch'.

Note how the stone has the appearance of a 'face' on it.. (surely not..!!)

(Other examples of Megalithic Simulacrum)

 

The Engravings:

 

The St. Uzec menhir is estimated to weigh around sixty tons, and is dated to around 2,500 BC. The stone was Christianized in the seventeenth century by the devout Jesuit missionary, Padre Maunoir.

Within the monument itself a cross was planted. On the south face a series of objects has been carved in stone: they are instruments of 'the Passion'. Left and right the moon (death) and sun (the resurrection). At left is a spear and a stick that evokes the arrest which correspond to the right, a spear and the sponge on a reed. Between the two, the pitcher and a hand gesture reminiscent of Pilate, then, a woman on her knees, and beneath it, the veil of Veronica. The rooster's denial of St. Peter is perched on the column of flagellation. A ladder evokes the descent of the cross. On each side we see the two whips. Below, from left to right, the sword of St. Peter, who cut off the ear of Malchus, the high priest's servant, a lantern leads to arrest in the Garden of Olives, then clamps and a hammer in where is the money of Judas. The last line finally, the seamless robe, dice that the Roman soldiers cast lots for the garments of Christ, the three nails. The skull is that of Adam: a legend, indeed, reported that it was buried on Golgotha. On the scale, two crossed bones may mean the descent into hell.

From ancient representations of the menhir of Saint Uzec (see drawing, right, from the Antiquities Cotes-du-Nord, Knight Freminville. 1837), we learn that at the origin of the Christianization of the menhir, all these objects were painted.

 

 

 

 

   St. Uzec: Gallery of Images.

 

 

 

(Menhirs Homepage)

(Other French sites)

 

 

 

References:

1). http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/megalithes/en/mega/megalocpie_en.htm

 

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