Dolmens are the monuments of the middle bronze age, and they are the religious buildings that served as memorial tombs and the burial places. However, modern scientists see the dolmens not only as tombs, but also as observatories and temples. The word ‘dolmen’ translated from the Celtic language means ‘the stone table’.
Those stone structures built of huge slabs or blocks cut out of sandstone, are, indeed, very similar to stone tables. One can enter the dolmen through a small opening, with a stone stopper which served for closing. The dolmens existing In the vicinity of Sochi are dated the Ist or IInd Millennium BC. According to the method of their construction the dolmens may belong to monolithic, composite, and tile-shaped type.
Volkonsky dolmen is located in the gorge of the river Godric that in 200-300 meters off the Sochi-Novorossiysk motorway. Some scientists think that it is an ancient sanctuary used by our ancestors for meditation.
Volkonsky dolmen belongs to the monolithic dolmens, i.e. stone tables, carved from a huge Sandstone boulder. The flat platform of this dolmen is carved at the height of four meters in a huge fragment of Sandstone rock. Above the platform there hangs a facade wall with a hole. That hole served for carving all the way through to the main chamber, which has the shape of a horseshoe and a spherical ceiling. The only convenient approach to the dolmen with steps is located at the end of the wall and leads from the platform available in front of the facade, to the depression the depth and diameter of which are approximately 60 cm, located on the roof of the dolmen. In course of its construction part of Volkonsky dolmen structure facade with the help of a saw cut in the monolith was turned to face the summer solstice.
Dolmen got its name in honor of Princess Volkonskaya, who spent a lot of time near it. The structure was built about nine and a half thousand years ago. It turns out that even at that time people already had certain knowledge and techniques associated with cutting premises in hard rock. Some dolmens are located near water springs, and Volkonsky dolmen is near a mineral water source.
There is a beautiful legend which is associated with the Volkonsky dolmen. One young man from a rich and noble family fell in love with a girl who was beautiful but poor and of humble origin. His brother forbade him to marry the girl, as such a marriage would have been a disgrace to the family. Hearing this, the unfortunate lover exclaimed that it was better to turn into a stone than to live without his sweetheart, and the heaven immediately fulfilled his request. The older brother, struck by what was had happened, repented and asked to share the fate of his brother. So there were two stone statues. The beautiful bride could not live without her love and turned into a small river with clean cool water. The locations details of the dolmen are Lazarevskoe forestry, quarter 87, Volkonka village, 1 km to the East of the mouth of the river Godlik, the right bank, 200 m away from the Novorossiysk-Sochi motorway.
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