The wonders of Mont Saint Michel!

Coming up Friday is TGIF anywhere!  Coming right at you !!! Still cold for Brittany, but what about the wonder of our world , Mont Saint Michel. We have been to it and my sons even had gone on school trips. It is something beyond description really, how it can be  there!

This is a marvel of our times, and so much written on it; I will give you my version of a bit of history I like.

My previous blog post on the Mount Saint Michel here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/03/28/le-mont-saint-michel/

The Mont-Saint-Michel in the département 50 of the Manche in the region of Normandy. It takes the name from the rocky isle consecrated by Saint Michel where today it is the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel. There is a statue of the Saint at the summit 157,10 meters high of the sea border.

The rocky isle is at the mouth of the Couesnon river on which it falls into the Manche. It has 960 meters in circumference arising above a sandy plain at 92 meters high sea level. You have up of the stones from the abbey at about 78,60 meters and from the floor of the abbey to the tower there is 34,70 meters, the spiral arrow has a height of 39,80 meters and the statue of Saint Michel itself has 4 meters. At the beginning of time, it was known as tomb hill or mont Tombe. Probably because of a stone or monument megalith destine to the pagan cult; that was replaced by one honoring the Saint Michel from 709. From 710 and during all the middle ages it was known by the monks as the Mont Saint-Michel in danger of the sea. In 867, the Treaty of Compiegne gives the Cotentin,as well as the Avranchin to the king of Brittany,Salomon. The controversy between the Normans and the Breton arise from this cloudy definition, claiming this area was not in Normandy given to the Viking king Rollon in 911, the Mont Saint-Michel stayed Breton even attached to the parish of Avranches, which in turn belongs to the archdiocese of Rouen. You are with me so far ,ok.

Mont Saint Michel

It was part of Brittany while in 933, William I of Normandy takes over the Avranchin with the border set at the Sélune river. The Benedictines monks established here in 966 upon request of the duke of Normandy , and the pre Roman Church is built at the same period. At the Chapel of Saint Martin in the abbey were buried the Breton dukes of the house of Rennes such as Conan I le Tort (+992), and Geoffroy I Béranger (+1008), husband of Havoise de Normandie, grand benefactor of the abbey given the revenues of the Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes and Saint-Benoît-des-Ondes to the abbey. In 1009 the Duke of Normandy takes control of the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, and the abbot Maynard will need to moved to the abbey of Saint-Sauveur in Redon to be replace by the Abbot Hildebert Ier, chosen by Duke Richard II of Normandy. The limits between Brittany and Normandy independant of the location of the water source and precisely at 4km to the west of the bottom of the massif of Saint-Broladre. From 2001, the brothers and sisters of the monastic fraternities of Jerusalem coming from the Church of Saint-Gervais in Paris, insured a presence all year round, replacing the Benedictine monks that were coming here since 1966.

Ok so what can you see here… ? Many things but my favorites story telling of them is as it is. The Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel ,and all its dependancies such as the Chapel of or Chapelle Notre-Dame-sous-Terre, Chapelle Saint-Aubert; and the fountain or Fontaine Saint-Aubert; the parish Church of Saint-Pierre ,which originally housed the inhabitants of the Mount. The Church is led by a priest name by the Bishop of Coutances. The Church preserves relics from the 11C in its pillars but in general they belong to the 15C and 16C. The nerf has only one lower altar that lower to the Choir. It has a small bell, but the Church has rich decorations like stained glass from the 15C, altar and columns from 1660, baptismal fountain from the 13C , a Virgin and the Child and education of the Virgin (Sainte Anne teaching Mary)from the 15C-16C , and a copy of the statue of Saint Michel. It is still surrounded by a cemetery. The town is one of the few French cities preserving the medieval fortifications, dating from the 13 to 16C. The ramparts of Fanils, continue the walls of Monteux, of Cantilly,and of Pillette, dating from the 16C with the tour Gabriel.

Mont Saint Michel Mont Saint Michel

On the culinary front what else is new in France! You have the sheep or lamb pre salted or mouton/agneau de pré-salé ,much better grill in carbon. The Omelette de la mère Poulard,native of Burgundy born in Nevers and arrive at the Mount at 21 yrs old (also the name of the restaurant). These are made with fresh eggs, fresh cream, well beaten to merinque with a special rythme and cook in a copper pot on carbon wood fire ;delicious.

The official site of the Mount Saint Michel :  http://www.abbaye-mont-saint-michel.fr/en/

The tourist office is here:  http://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/index.htm?lang=en

Hope you enjoy the trip to the Mount of Saint Michael, Monte de San Miguel. Have a great weekend; happy travels, good health to all. Cheers!!

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