Spain - The Three Mighty Tombs of Antequera

Just outside the old part of the town there are two tombs right next to each other. One is a mighty single chambered monster of a tomb and the other is a relatively delicate passage tomb. I will discuss Menga, the big one, first.

fig. 5 : The mighty entrance to the Menga Dolmen

At the time of our visit Menga (N37° 01.529' W 4° 32.821') was shut for refurbishment. As we drove up the road from Romeral I saw the orange fencing around the entrance and my heart sank. The lady in the kiosk (again giving out tickets to count numbers, but not taking money) was very apologetic, but no amount of pleading and saying how far we'd travelled would not make her let me in there. It will be open again in two or three months. A new museum built just below the site will also open around the same time.

Even without going inside the monument the sheer size of the frontmost capstone (see fig. 5) and the entrance show how big the place is. Building work aside the site is a bit scruffy right now: the top of the tomb is covered in a rough and ugly coating of concrete, presumably to help prevent erosion from the many tourists that visit here.

fig. 6 : Broken stone being abused

All around the two monuments the ground seems to have been scoured and cleared of everything bar a few olive trees, making the immediate surroundings looked barren and unkempt too. I was horrifed to see that one orthostat was lying on the ground broken in two and was being used as a place to stack bags of sand or gravel!(see fig. 6)

fig. 7 : This is taken standing on the top of the mound

One thing you can not help but notice is that this mighty chamber faces directly at the magnificent mountain known as The Lovers (see fig. 7) - an odd name as it simply looks like a face in profile.

I suppose it's quite lucky that I didn't get to go inside really, otherwise this bit of text would be just about how amazing the massive chamber is. Instead I can now concentrate on what seems to be the Disneyfication of the two sites. If you come by this way make sure you walk around the town too - it's a great place, but be warned, it is a very hilly town!

To the rear of Menga is Viera Dolmen, which like Romeral is actually a passage tomb.

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