The word menhir comes from the Breton language. The first part of the word “men” means a stone and the second part “hir” means long, i.e. a menhir is, in fact, every long stone which is anchored in a ground rising up to the skies.
The largest of well-known menhirs, Mené er Groah, does not stand anymore but lay broken into several parts on the ground near Locmariaquer, Britanny. Originally, it was 23.5 metres tall. Out of well-known menhirs there are few which are taller than 10 meters. Most often there are 3-meter-long, 2-meter-long menhirs or lower ones. However, they were always erected artificially, and yet they are mostly unworked or roughly chiselled.
We still do not have any clue what purpose the menhirs served for. Probably, they could be erected to worship the dead according to one of Indian caste where burial rites have been kept up today. A son of this caste must erect a huge menhir four days after his father died. The menhir weighs a soul of a dead which can stay near its living descendants and supervise them. There is also another explanation. Most of menhirs stands on places where there are anomalies of Earth’s geomagnetic field. Those places are connected with running water which strengthen the energy of stone allegedly. Therefore, it is believed that menhirs served mainly as a healing place.
It is interesting to note that menhirs can be found all over the world. Moreover, they are to be found menhir sculptures (especially in northeast France, Spain, and Corsica). These sculptures represent a man’s genital, but signs of a woman’s womb can also be found. Sometimes, menhirs are in rows (alignment) or circles (cromlech). Menhirs started to appear from late Neolithic Age (3500-2200 BC) to approx. 2000-1500 BC. It can be noticed that Breton language use word ”peulvan” for menhir which is quite similar to Czech word balvan. Do these words have a common origin?
The most famous among Czech menhirs is the so called ”Kamenný pastýř” (i.e. Stone Shepherd) which stands in the fields between the villages of Telce and Klobuky at the Slánsko region. This menhir is 330 centimetres long and it used to be circled by nine other menhirs. The menhir called ”Zkamenělý slouha” (i.e. Petrified Servant) is also well-known and it is situated near a fence of a house on Ládevská street, Prague – Dolní Chabry. Menhirs or similar long stones can be found all over the republic.
Looking at menhirs, we can erect our own smaller or bigger menhirs in our garden or close surroundings. In others words, it can be considered to continue keeping traditions of our ancestors. We do not know how they retrieved, transfer, and erect stones at that time. But it is much simplier today. It does not have to be huge pieces of stone which cannot be moved without a crane. It is enough to use smaller elongated stones which can be erected.
For example, a tourist attraction has recently been built near Holašovice, South Bohemia. It consists of menhirs creating a megalithic circle. This circle of menhirs near Holašovice allegedly feature the strongest energy out of all local megaliths built by a man. It is an analogue of British Stonehenge built from huge granite stones in 2008 by local builder Václav Jílek. The megalithic circle allegedly drains negative energy from a body and draw the positive one back. All stones come from the vicinity of Holašovice (within 15 km of the town) and they are the part of local countryside where all the energy resides. That’s why go looking for stones in your area. Parapsychologists say that the set of 23 granite menhirs create strengthened energy synergically there for these monoliths in a circle of 30 meters diameter influenced each other. A Menhir standing not far from the circle weighs 19 tons and it is called ”Skála” (i.e. Rock). It is believed that it is suitable as a meditation place.
A menhir as a dominant feature of your rockery or a landmark of your entire garden? Why not?