E.J.Wilkins

05 Jun 2007 663 views
 
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photoblog image Cromeleque dos Almendres

Cromeleque dos Almendres

Back in February, on the road from Évora to Lisbon, we spotted a road sign for "Cromeleque" and decided to see what was there.

We followed a rough track through an area of Cork Oak woodland for a couple of miles, getting more and more worried because it was starting to get dark, but were so pleased we persevered. We were about - here -

I've never seen so many standing stones. This is what you see, looking up the hill towards the small car park area.

The only information was a sign which I photographed, this is what it says :-

"Cromeleque dos Almendres
A National Monument (Decrete 735/78 de 21/12/1974)

The megalithic enclosure of Almendres, one of the first public monuments in the human history, comprises the largest group of menhirs to have been erected on the Iberia Peninsula, and one of the most important in Europe.

This megalithic monument originally consisted of more than a hundred monoliths. The excavation have made possible the detection of various phases of construction throughout the Neolithic period (the 5th to the 4th millennia BC) to the point where it acquired an appearance similar to that which is found today.

There are 92 menhirs, with different shapes and dimensions, some small, rudely shaped blocks, others of greater size which have given the place the name of Alto das Pedras Talhas.

They form two enclosures erected in different, distinct epoch, geminated, and aligned to accord with the equinoxes. Ten of the monoliths are decorated, exhibiting rellets or engravings.

It was a monument which had religious functions, and was probably also a primitive astronomical observatory.

This monument is situated in the Herdade dos Almendres estate owned by Jose Manuel Neves.
The school with has adopted (Escola EB1 de Agua de Upe) and the Guadalupe local council request that you treat this pre-historic monument, and the area surrounding it, with pride and respect."

The low-key approach is something I like more and more about Portugal, there is an assumption that people will behave properly and respect their surroundings.

I only took a few pictures, it was too dark.

.....
If you have a spare moment, please visit my vfxy
.

Cromeleque dos Almendres

Back in February, on the road from Évora to Lisbon, we spotted a road sign for "Cromeleque" and decided to see what was there.

We followed a rough track through an area of Cork Oak woodland for a couple of miles, getting more and more worried because it was starting to get dark, but were so pleased we persevered. We were about - here -

I've never seen so many standing stones. This is what you see, looking up the hill towards the small car park area.

The only information was a sign which I photographed, this is what it says :-

"Cromeleque dos Almendres
A National Monument (Decrete 735/78 de 21/12/1974)

The megalithic enclosure of Almendres, one of the first public monuments in the human history, comprises the largest group of menhirs to have been erected on the Iberia Peninsula, and one of the most important in Europe.

This megalithic monument originally consisted of more than a hundred monoliths. The excavation have made possible the detection of various phases of construction throughout the Neolithic period (the 5th to the 4th millennia BC) to the point where it acquired an appearance similar to that which is found today.

There are 92 menhirs, with different shapes and dimensions, some small, rudely shaped blocks, others of greater size which have given the place the name of Alto das Pedras Talhas.

They form two enclosures erected in different, distinct epoch, geminated, and aligned to accord with the equinoxes. Ten of the monoliths are decorated, exhibiting rellets or engravings.

It was a monument which had religious functions, and was probably also a primitive astronomical observatory.

This monument is situated in the Herdade dos Almendres estate owned by Jose Manuel Neves.
The school with has adopted (Escola EB1 de Agua de Upe) and the Guadalupe local council request that you treat this pre-historic monument, and the area surrounding it, with pride and respect."

The low-key approach is something I like more and more about Portugal, there is an assumption that people will behave properly and respect their surroundings.

I only took a few pictures, it was too dark.

.....
If you have a spare moment, please visit my vfxy
.

comments (20)

That's so interesting. Your photo suggests that the place had a very tangible atmosphere.
EJWilkins: There was an atmosphere, one that's quite hard to describe
  • Larry
  • North Carolina, USA
  • 5 Jun 2007, 01:05
What a find! Fascinating photo. One wonders what astronomical events the stones corresponded to.
EJWilkins: With there being so many stones it makes me wonder if it was for all sorts of events, different stars and planets rising and so on, but I doubt we'll ever be able to do more than make guesses. time travel is sometimes quite appealing wink
  • nev
  • Australia
  • 5 Jun 2007, 02:09
Great one. lovely find and capture Ellie. did you try a mono with this one or even a slightly destaurated edit.
EJWilkins: Yes, this one wouldn't convert but there's one tomorrow that ... well, I'll let you be the judge wink
Nice, interesting, image, Ellie. The history you provide is fascinating, and makes me want to learn more!
EJWilkins: There's surprisingly little about this place on the 'net, although there may be more on Portuguese sites. It's certainly a well kept secret, I couldn't even find it 'for sure' on an aerial picture. wink
Interesting shot and very useful information too. Thanx for sharing this Ellie smile
EJWilkins: Thanks Thomas, the same information will be up again tomorrow with a slightly different picture.
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 5 Jun 2007, 09:52
What a fascinating find, Ellie. I can't tell if this is a playground for children (hide and seek would be the game of choice, I think) or for Spirits from the ancient world. Did this have an ominous feel for you at night, I wonder? 92 menhirs. That's a lot!
EJWilkins: It was just about dark when we left, and there wasn't any unpleasant feeling about the place. I just wished we'd found it when there was more time to look around, we only had about ten minutes which was nowhere near enough.
There was an atmosphere though, not an unpleasant one, sort of 'settled' but 'awesome' is about the only way I can describe it. The view was also jawdroppingly wonderful.
  • paul
  • 5 Jun 2007, 11:13
How amazing to have so many in one place. they look like they have just been placed there higgledy piggedly. It's a menhir warehouse!
EJWilkins: It seemed to be almost random at first, there are just so many stones. We really needed more time, but the sun doesn't hang around in the evening.
They're set on the side of a hill with a magnificent view in one direction. There's a clear area in the middle of the almost oval arrangement of stones, and woodland to the outside … good for a wide angle lens!
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 5 Jun 2007, 12:51
Nice picture...wonderful story. Now I want to go to Portugal
EJWilkins: If you go to Portugal give yourself a good long time. Last time we were there we were chatting with some people who'd managed to 'do' most European countries in a month, but Portugal had beaten them. It's a relatively small country, packed full of wonderful surprises. Trouble is, after a visit I find myself with more than enough pictures to last a year at one-a-day smile
  • Jimbo
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 5 Jun 2007, 13:43
Portugal is high on my list of places to visit. Indeed, we'd originally considered going there this year, but that now seems to be a dead notion. One of these days I must get out and about here at home, too. There's so much in Ireland which dates back to megalitihic times, and I've never really had much of a chance to get photos. For shame!
EJWilkins: Go soon Jimbo, but I also know what you mean about photographing your own country. I found a round barrow the other day! smile All I need now is to go back with the camera, and some sunshine! I don't think it'll make an inspiring picture though.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 5 Jun 2007, 13:53
Some ancient feel about this lot, as witnessed by the words on the sign. Menhirs always makes me think of old Obelix and how he casually chucks them around.

Great pic and report.

If you would like to lighten the dark part, go to contrasts in PS and address the 'lightning of shadows'. If you have PS Elements this would be very easy.
EJWilkins: I've got a copy of photoshop, but I don't know how to use it, in fact I avoid it like the plague because I can't find where anything is.
I thought of Obelix too grin
  • xavi
  • Barcelona
  • 5 Jun 2007, 14:35
un sitio escalofriante... da miedo, pero lo has retratado muy bien. NICE SHOT
EJWilkins: Thank you Xavi. I did not find it frightening, there was a sense of peace about the place even though it was getting dark.
Gracias Xavi. No lo encontré espantoso, había un sentido de la paz sobre el lugar aunque conseguía obscuridad.
Interesting information! I should find a way to visit Portugal. Are you sure they aren't paying you for advertising their country? smile
EJWilkins: I don't mind advertising one little bit. I think it's exciting to visit other countries and see their special places, for us Portugal is magic! We're lucky to be able to visit quite often. I hope you get there some time, but make sure it's a long visit wink
Interesting reading, seems like an interesting place...
EJWilkins: Very interesting yes, and another picture tomorrow with about the same sort of comment attached. I wish we'd been able to spend more time there, but daylight goes when the sun sets, and there were no street lights anywhere nearby.
  • Julischka
  • the black hole where time disappears
  • 5 Jun 2007, 19:10
Although I think it's a pity that the light wasn't better I like your capture. A very interesting place. Thanks for sharing.
EJWilkins: I know, some people would know how to deal with this low light and if we were to go there now I might achieve a better picture because back then I'd only had the camera for a couple of weeks. There's another one of here for tomorrow
When I opened this my first thought was where are these megaliths as I've seen most of the ones in the UK and then I read your comments, I didn't know Portugal had any. Your begining to make me want to visit more and more.
EJWilkins: Just back along the road there was a single standing stone, which we also looked at, but it was very tightly fenced off. Have a look at the Megalithic Portal site, you'll be surprised by how many sites there are, and in the most surprising places too. wink
92 Menhirs!?. Im sure Obelix (Asterix & Obelix comic) placed most of them. Very interesting find Ellie.
EJWilkins: I'll take their word for it, I'm sure I'd have lost count if I'd tried to count them to make sure.
You mean you haven't got any of the Asterix books? Tsk, you've missed out! Take a look in your local library and see what they've got wink
Never heard of this place before Ellie! An ancient map perhaps?
EJWilkins: I wonder if it might have been a star map, or even linked with Ley Lines ... but I really have no idea.
  • Lilith
  • Tearing my hair out
  • 5 Jun 2007, 23:32
Great Ellie. There are lots of standing stones where I am in Wiltshire, so I like this one too.
Efectivamente, Ellie. Creo que el espíritu del lugar está retratado en la fotografía en B&W. Es fascinante! smile

Indeed, Ellie. I believe that the spirit of the place is portrayed in the photography in B&W. He is fascinating! smile
Nice and instructive - Thank you !!

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focal length 14.0mm
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