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Discovering Menorca's ancient & mysterious stone structures—where to find the most impressive taula site on the island

Spread throughout the island of Menorca is an impressive array of ancient stone structures, not dissimilar to those of Stonehenge. These taulas—meaning table in Catalan—are believed to have been built between 500 and 300BC and may have some connection to astronomy or ritual ceremony. Along with hunting out the best tapas in Mahon I became obsessed with the stones when I visited the island for the first time, driving through the dry, sun-scorched countryside to find new sites on my way to or from Menorca's most beautiful beaches. I didn’t even know such stone statues existed until I arrived on the island, but they enchanted me from the very beginning. The stones usually form a table-type shape with two pieces rising towards the sky and a larger flat piece laying across them. There are only seven complete taulas still standing in Menorca, yet to think they were built before any kind of modern machinery is incredible. I’m fascinated to know more about them but weirdly Google seems pretty short on answers.

an ancient stone structure known as a taula among trees and dusty ground on the island of menorca
One of only seven complete taulas still standing on the island of Menorca
One of my favorite discoveries was the Talaiotic settlement of Torretrencada, not too far from the pretty town of Ciutadella, and a couple of my most loved hotels, Menorca Experimental and Can Sastre. This large Talaiotic settlement features stone towers, a large complete taula, manmade caves, chambers, and tombs. There’s also a large stone table with benches around it sitting on an elevated piece of land that’s surrounded by ancient trees.

stone table and stone benches surrounded by trees at the ancient site of Torretrencada in menorca
Stone table and benches at Torretrencada, Menorca
Evidence of ash, goat, and sheep remains, casks used to transport wine, and fragments of native clay cups used for drinking were all discovered around the taula site. Signs at the prehistoric setting seem to suggest that these ancient stone structures were part of an open-air sanctuary used for ritual feasting dedicated to a deity that could possibly be symbolized by the taulas.

Lydia swinscoe wearing a short blue summer dress standing on tiptoes admiring the ancient stone structure known as a taula on the island of menorca
Lydia Swinscoe admiring the ancient stone structure 
I love the mystery surrounding the place, which was made even more atmospheric due to the fact that only a couple of other people were exploring when I visited. It’s incredible to realize that some of the structures found in Menorca have not been found anywhere else in the world and many sites are yet to be excavated. With over 1,500 prehistoric sites on the island, I’m excited about returning to discover more.

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