A visit to Portugal would easily get you to the Evora complex, in the Alentejo region, which would serve your eyes with pre-historic pleasure but just five kilometres away, there is more, the Almendres Cromlech also known as Cromeleque dos Almendres. This site was built almost 6000 years ago during the Stone Age period but that alone is not the reason to fancy the place as it is also the biggest megalithic site in the Iberian Peninsula. The significance of astronomy was demonstrated this way by the builders of the megaliths. The site which is considered perhaps man’s first ever public monument is consistent of two circles of stones which is believed to be that way due to modifications from time to time. There are 92 oval stones which could measure 30 by 60 meters. Today, you would still find a couple of stones with visible markings and inscriptions.
What was the Almendres Cromlech used for?
Even though there is no exact evidence of the activities that took place in this site during the Neolithic period, most people are inclined to believe that the area was some sacred place used for worship. Besides its purpose for religion practices, the site could have been used as the most primitive observatory for astronomical happenings. This was reached after archaeological inferences found out that most of the markings made on the monoliths were images of the moon and the sun. Some of them even revealed that there were makings that resembled solstices and equinoxes.
Visiting the Almendres Cromlech
The megaliths are situated in the Herdade dos Almendres, near a village called Guadalupe along the Monte dos Almendres slopes. The magnificent evidence of historic evolution stands firmly on red earth within cork trees and olive trees. The first thing ever noticed at this site is a single menhir 4.5 meters tall that stands facing towards the sunrise. This gives but another proof that the site would have been used as an astronomical observatory for the people back then. During your visit to Portugal, you may not want to miss out on visiting the Almendres Cromlech because not only will you feel like you have travelled back in time but you will also access it free of charge. While here, you may stay the night at the nearby car park. To date, the site is still treated as a religious one as most people who visit are seen perform a ritual or two when they are there. To get there, you would need to hire a car as that is the only easy way and in as much as the drive may be a crazy one on the dusty road, the site is worth the trouble.
Despite the shallow astronomical evidences portrayed by the past activities that took place in the Cromeleque dos Almendres, there is a lunar significance demonstrated there. Also, the circles have been found out to be oriented towards both the equinox’s sunrise and the sunset. Nothing would be much more exciting to come face to face with in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Like Almendres Cromlech, there are so many ancient places in Portugal. In your life time, you must visit this country at least for once.
I am Jessica, freelancer and part time blogger. I love reading and writing blogs. Apart from this I like traveling around the world and share my traveling experience by means of my article. Currently I am doing a research work on Esta which will assist you in visa services.