Menhir (from Breton "men" = stone and "hir" = long) is a stone block vertically set in the ground. They occur all over the world. Usually without traces of working, rarely is a human figure, possibly clothing and weapons. Menhir statues are known from northwest France, Spain, Corsica. They have a phallic character, but somewhere are also places with female characters. Sometimes they form rows (alignements) or circles (kromlech). The word ”menhir”is a modern artificial compound using Breton words. In Breton itself, the word "peulvan" is used for menhir. It is possible that the Czech word "balvan" (boulder) and the Breton "peulvan" have a common origin.
Menhirs are about 4 to 6 thousand years old and their meaning is still not satisfactorily explained. There are theories about calendar or astronomical-astrological function, fertility cult, healing function, positive amplifiers or negative energy filters of the Earth and many others…
I personally incline to the theory that menhirs are somehow related to maintaining the balance of natural forces. Menhirs are often found at the site of geological breaks. This is also true of several Czech menhirs. I do not know how alone standing menhirs in Brittany (and what about the long range of menhirs around Carnac?), but there are rumors in Brittany, that the removal of menhirs led to the sinking of the landscape into the sea - surroundings of the Monastery of Mont Saint Michel, legend of the demise of the mythical city of Ys.
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