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5 megalithic monuments to visit in Alava

Dolmen de la Chabola de la Hechicera
8th September, 2022
Image of Dolmen de la Chabola de la Hechicera in Rioja Alavesa

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In the Basque Country, there are a large concentration of megalithic monuments, and works of art that have always generated mystery and curiosity. Dolmens, cromlechs, menhirs, tumuli, and other types of stone constructions are mostly located in open spaces on mountain tops. They were used to worship people who had died, as human and funerary remains have been found under many of them.

Another belief is that these monuments were built to mark or claim territory. However, what is clear is that they played a fundamental role in prehistoric times, especially in the Neolithic period, when sedentary life was consolidated, and agriculture and livestock farming developed.

According to some research, there are more than 100 megaliths in Alava, some of them used for collective burials for some 2,000 years and today declared a cultural asset.

Do you want to know the 5 most impressive megalithic monuments in Álava? Then keep reading this post.

1. Dolmen Sorginetxe

Sorginetxe, "House of Witches" in Basque, is located in Arrizala, Agurain. It is 2.3 meters high and is made up of six limestone slabs. It was first excavated in 1890 and human remains and arrowheads made of flint, a very hard stone, were found.

This funerary monument was built in 2,500 BC and is one of the best-preserved dolmens in the Basque Country and one of the most photographed in Alava.

Don't miss out on your photo!

Dolmen Sorginetxe
Image of Dolmen Sorginetxe

2. Dolmen de la Chabola de la Hechicera

This megalith is one of the most important and largest in the Basque Country. It is in Rioja Alavesa, in Elvillar, and is 2.7 metres high. The chamber is made up of 9 polygonal blocks and the gallery is made up of another 5 slabs plus the closing ones.

Nearby is the site is known as Abrigo de Los Husos, where remains of domestic livestock and crops were found for the first time.

On the eve of the town's festivities in August, an akelarre is held near the dolmen, where witches in long skirts and brooms take over Elvillar. Are you going to miss it?

Dolmen de la Chabola de la Hechicera
Image of Dolmen de la Chabola de la Hechicera in Rioja Alavesa

3. Cromlech Mendiluze

The cromlechs are small stones or menhirs that form a circle, hence their meaning in ancient Breton: stone crown. This one in Mendiluze was found in 1983 in the Sierra de Entzia, Agurain, and is around 2,700 years old.

In this case, it is made up of small stones and four large menhirs placed vertically and have an internal structure where the inhabitants of the area were buried.

You have to see it up close, it impresses!

Cromlech Mendiluze
Image of Cromlech Mendiluze

Make a note of these 5 magical places for your next getaway and discover ancient legends while you learn more about these findings.

4. Menhir of Itaida

The Itaida menhir is also located in Agurain and is a pointed stone placed vertically, looking towards the sky. It was discovered in 1981 and measures about 2.5 meters.

The area where it is located was used to bury bodies, although it is also thought that the menhirs were used for worship. Find out more about prehistory!

Menhir of Itaida
image of Menhir of Itaida

5. Monolith of Mount Lerón and tumulus of San Lorenzo

These two archaeological monuments are in the Valderejo Natural Park, in Valdegovía, where nature is the true protagonist. A monolith is a large block of homogeneous rock. A tumulus, on the other hand, is a mound of earth and stones placed on top of one or more tombs.

Both have funerary connotations and are considered megalithic monuments. They are also located in an area where there are remains of a Roman road, so come to the park and learn more about the past while hiking!

Valderejo Natural Park
Image of Valderejo Natural Park

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