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Discovering ancient & mysterious stone statues on the island of Menorca

Spread throughout the island of Menorca is an impressive array of stone statues, not dissimilar to those of Stonehenge. These taulas, meaning table in Catalan, are believed to have been built between 500 and 300 BC and may have some connection towards astronomy or ritual ceremony.

stone taula among trees menorca
One of the seven complete taulas still standing

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 taulas 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 across them. There’s 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.

One of my favourite discoveries was the Talaiotic settlement of Torretrencada, not too far from pretty Ciutadella and the stunning hotels, Menorca Experimental and Can Sastre. This large Talaiotic settlement features stone towers, a large complete taula, manmade caves, chambers and tombs as well as a large stone table with benches, all placed on an elevated piece of land, surrounded by ancient trees.

stone table and stone benches surrounded by trees menorca
Stone table and benches at Torretrencada

Evidence of ash and remains of goats and sheep were discovered around the taula as well as casks used to transport wine and fragments of native clay cups used for drinking. Signs at the prehistoric site seem to point towards the taula being part of an open-air sanctuary that was used for ritual feasting dedicated to a deity that is possibly symbolised by the taula. I loved the mystery surrounding the place, which was made even more atmospheric by the fact that only a couple of other people were exploring the site when I visited.

girl in blue dress looking at taula menorca
Admiring the ancient stone statue

It’s incredible to realise that some of the structures found in Menorca have not been found anywhere else in the world and many sites still haven’t been excavated. With over 1,500 prehistoric sites on the island I already want to go back to discover more.

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