A friend of ours regularly goes out on trips with OVS, ‘On Va Sortir’ (www.onvasortir.com); trips and meetings with friends in and around various cities in France. Recently she told us about a trip of OVS St. Malo to the ‘Fête des Mégalithes in Pleslin-Trigavou (Côtes d’Armor). Well, when it comes to history we are always enthusiastic. We decided to sign up.
The megaliths of Pleslin-Trigavou or ‘Champ des Roches’ or ‘Cimitière des Druides’ consist of 65 menhirs protected by a collection of oaks. The legend says that once fairies – on their way to the Mont Saint Michel – landed at this spot. In their aprons they kept bricks for the construction of the Mont. But… the fairies were so exhausted that they dropped the bricks in Pleslin-Trigavou. Et voilà! The menhirs were ‘born’.
We know that the stones date back to 4000 BC. The line of stones is oriented east-west, in the same direction as those of Carnac. It is still not known why they are here. Are the stones associated with the cult of the dead? Or are the megaliths needed for ceremonies in honour of the sun? Maybe the stones are here to mark the territory. Who knows. Around 400 BC, when the Celts lived in Brittany, this special place became the ‘theatre’ of new faith. A faith that created legends we still are familiar with today. The Druids, powerful priests, used the place to communicate with the supernatural and “The Other World”.
At this site in Pleslin-Trigavou people have found some coins under these stones. This reinforces the idea that the land was used as a cemetery during the period of Roman occupation, which lasted 400 years.
For a while people forgot the menhirs. Simply because the stones did not have a good reputation. Religious figures told people to stay away from the ‘dangerous’ stones. However an old tradition was restored in 1850 despite the mutterings of ‘the church’. From this period on the people of Pleslin-Trigavou worshipped the menhirs on the day of Saint Jean and Saint Pierre. They celebrated and lit bonfires.
Anno 2014 we were at the ‘Fête des Mégalithes’, as told earlier. The ambiance was authentic. Goats grazed near the megaliths, marmots slept in a large pen in the sun, women and men rode horseback in old fashioned clothes, hams hung to roast above a fire and some people played tunes on flutes. Honestly, after a few hours we had had enough of this spectacle. It was nice but by Dutch and English standards a bit ‘clumsy’. It also took us a lot of time to find the organizer of the trip. And very strange, we didn’t see any other people from OVS. So we decided to leave the ‘scene’. Our friend went back home, we decided to drive to the coast with our camper van and find a spot for the night. That appeared to be very difficult. After a few hours of searching we gave up and drove inland. There we found a suitable spot for the night. Perhaps this was a small lesson from the menhirs. ‘You don’t wanna stay with us? Well, then we will make it difficult for you!’