Guadalupe: Neolithic Megaliths


Alto Alentejo


May 21, 2013

Dear Friends,

I follow the directions in my guidebook and drive west from Évora on the old Lisbon Road (N114), and then turn south to Guadalupe.  I follow the signs from there, down a pitted, gauged out dirt road to the Cromeleque dos Almendres.  

This morning, I will not be visiting a 700 year old castle.  Instead, my destination is a pre-historic sacred site, 7000 years old.

Surrounded by a landscape of olive trees and cork trees, I stroll among a circular group of one hundred Ancient Neolithic megaliths.  

The site was discovered in the 1960’s.  Archeologists have been working here since then.  As with any ancient site, it is always a challenge to determine its function: Religious observance?  Astronomical calendar?  Artistic expression?  Perhaps a combination of all three.

In the early morning I am here alone, to wonder.  Seven thousand years ago: before the wheel, before the pyramids, 4000 years before Stonehenge!

Small groups of travelers arrive to wander and to wonder.

I’ll leave it to the archeologists to decipher the meaning of these wondrous boulders.  I’m back on the road to see more castles.

Surely the centuries old castles are marvelous to discover, to behold, to admire. 

But a seven millennia old structure?  That’s really something!



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