Cover Photo © Dalibor Samac
Cover Photo © Dalibor Samac

Roche-aux-Fées near Rennes, a mysterious place built by fairies

2 minutes to read

Situated about 30km from the historic center of Rennes, the Roche-aux-Fées (the Fairies' Rock) is one of the biggest and best-preserved dolmens in France and even in Europe. This dolmen dates from the Neolithic Age, some 2000 years BCE. That is the only thing we know for sure. However, no one has yet answered the question of how it was built. It is 19.5 meters long, 6 meters wide, 4 meters high, and quite impressive to see. When visiting Brittany, you should definitely consider making a stop in this most mysterious place built by fairies (according to the legend, of course)... 

The Roche-Aux-Fées, Essé
The Roche-Aux-Fées, Essé
35150 Essé, France

Land of mysteries and legends

Brittany is a land of mysteries and legends. In this part of France, even a simple forest can be magical. This is the case of the Paimpont Forest, also known as a location of the mythical Forest of Broceliande. Many stories such as the Knights of the Round Table, the Arthurian legend, the Wizard Merlin, the famous sword Excalibur, Lancelot, Morgan le Fay and Lady of the Lake are related to this enchanting forest. Knowing all that, you will probably be less surprised to hear stories about the fairies carrying huge stones and building the dolmens. Even if you might find this explanation a little bit childish, once in front of this impressive, mysterious monument, it will all make sense. Just imagine standing in front of a dolmen made of 48 stone blocks, of which the heaviest weighs more than 45 tones. I think you will find its name the Roche-aux-Fées (the Fairies' Rock) very convenient.

© Sladjana Perkovic
© Sladjana Perkovic

A historical monument

The exact time of construction of this dolmen is unknown. The archeologists suppose that it could be in the late Neolithic Age. Many excavations were carried out, but no significant discovery was revealed. Then, what do we know about the Roche-aux-Fées? This place was probably a passage grave, made out of large stones. Divided into two separate burial chambers, this monument consists of a corridor that is four times longer than wide. The entrance to the dolmen is aligned with sunrise at the winter solstice. The Roche-aux-Fées was listed in 1840 as one of the initial 1000 historical monuments in France.

Practical information

The Roche-aux-Fées is a place that you can visit every day during the year, and free of charge. If you are on your honeymoon in Brittany, then you should also learn the story about this mysterious place built by fairies. The newlyweds should indulge in a local tradition and count the number of stones in the new moon by walking around the dolmen in order to predict their shared future. Women should walk in a clockwise and men in the opposite direction. If they count the same number of stones, then their marriage will be long and happy.


The author

Sladjana Perkovic

Sladjana Perkovic

Hello, my name is Sladjana, a journalist and writer living in Paris, France. I write about French well hidden places, gastronomy and cultural events.

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