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Mont- St.- Michel

Mont- St- Michel

Mont- Saint- Michel or Mountain of a Saint Michael is a former Roman Catholic monastery of the Benedictine order.




Location: Manche department, Lower Normandy  Map


Train: to Pontorson, then bus


Tel. 02- 33 89 80 00


Open: May- Sep: 9am- 5:30pm, Oct- Apr 9:30am- 5pm, night visits during summer months


Closed: Jan 1, May 1, Nov 1 & 11, Dec 25


Service 12:15 pm Tue- Sun


Mont- St- Michel







Description of Mont- Saint- Michel or Mountain of a Saint Michael


Mont- St- MichelMont- Saint- Michel or Mountain of a Saint Michael is located in Manche department, Lower Normandy in France.

The mountain that was first settled by the monks in the 8th century turns into an island during high tight when water drowns the land around the abbey. It is not advisable to take walks during rising waters. In spring the tight might flood the land with a speed of 10 km/h (6 mph). Mont- Saint- Michel reached its height in the 12th and 13th centuries. It was a center of Medieval culture and education. Many Christian pilgrims (known as miquelots) came here to honour Saint Michael. During Great French Revolution this monastery along with many religious buildings were nationalized by the Revolutionary government. It was turned into a prison. Today the monastery is turned into a museum and added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. A small community of Benedictine monks continue to live here.

History of Mont- St.- Michel

Mont Saint Michel was first settled by the Galls who lived in this part of France that was known as Armorica province. Their fortress was constructed in the 6th century, but it was destroyed by the invading Franks. The current abbey started in 708. According to a legend the Archangel Michael first appeared to Saint Aubert, bishop of Avranches. He instructed to construct an abbey on the mountain outcrop. The bishop apparently initially assumed he went crazy and simply ignored the suggestion. Than the story goes that the Archangel burned a hole in the man's skull with his finger. The bishop changed his mind and ordered a construction of a small monastery on top of the mountain.

In 1067 the monastery of Mont- St- Michel gained large lands in England after they supported invasion armies of William of Normandy a year earlier. The monastery reached peak of its importance in the 12th and 13th century. During Hundred Years' War the English armies tried to capture the castle. But despite their 1423–24 siege the mount remained in the French hands. Defenders added Towers and walls at the shore to further increase defenses of the abbey.

During French Revolution Mont- Saint- Michel was nationalized, closed and turned into a prison for high- profile political prisoners. In 1863 the prison was closed and turned into national historic monument due to extensive campaign that included famous people like Victor Hugo.










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