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| Saint-Guirol petit menhir |
[570 x 385 jpg]
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|Description ||Engraved shape in form of foot. |
Over the valley of Arre and Aumessas and the Arrigas villages (the beginning of the words of places in "Arr" or "Ar" would be the vestiges of an old word ligure or celto-ligure meaning "water"), the granitic massif of Saint-Guiral rises to 1415 metres and is covered with snow in winter and in spring. It is a place of a route appreciated by walkers in the middle of ferns, oaks, spruces and others conifers.
On the way, Peyrelade menhir stands and waits for the young ladies to rub youself there, because it has the power of fertility. It is granite and measures 1.70 metre.
Further, the purpose of the journey is the peak Saint-Guiral at the end of the route.
At feet of the peak Saint-Guiral in shape of a sugarloaf is "Saint-Guiral's big sleeping menhir" 4,50 metres in length.
No far from it is, "Saint-Guiral's small menhir " 1.50 metre tall, which still stands.
Farther in front of Big Menhir, there is the "menhir of Pélerins", 2.50 metres tall. It is always a place of catholic assembling the day of Pentecost. The persons participanting in the mass outdoors which takes place at the foot of the menhir) come on foot up the valley to the menhir. This strange Christian tradition has certainly sources in a prehistoric rite.
By by-passing the peak of Saint-Guiral, the route allows to discover "Saint-Guiral's grave". It is an impressive granite natural arc but it is sure that its curvature was stressed and polished there very for a long time. There is a cross engraved over the entrance of the "grave" (to Christianize the building?)
In front of the entrance, a stone to the summit rounded off carries a beautiful well drawn cupule.
A little farther, the walls of an ancient abbey or chapel dating the Middle- age are still visible.
At the top of the foot Saint-Guiral, are marks engraved in the granite in shape of foot ("pédiformes" in French) or big and wide cupules (about diameter 20 centimeters and levies in French "pond"). Maybe was it in touch with a prehistoric cult of the rain or water.
Saint-Guiral was the name of a medieval knight who chose to withdraw into a hermit life on this mountain to forget a sorrow of love. He spent all his life there and finally the body was deposited under the stony arc (to see above) which became his grave. This knight who become a hermit gave his name to the mountain.
It is a magnificent place to be visited and to enjoy a superb picnic.
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