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 AlmendresA 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 A...
Let sleeping dog...