The Story behind The Mont Saint-Michel Abbey
The Romanesque abbey church was founded in the 11th century, over a set of crypts where the rock came to a peak, and the first monastery buildings were built. During the 12th century those buildings extended to the west and south. The king of France Philip Augustus made a donation during the 13th century following up his conquest of Normandy, initiating the Gothic section of the “Merveille” two buildings formed by the cloister and the refectory. During the hundred year war it was an obligation to protect the Mont Saint Michel Abbey it was protected by military construction. The Romanesque Chancel of the Abbey church, broken in 1421 was replaced by the Gothic Flamboyant chancel during the 15th century. This center was a great spiritual place, one of the most important places of pilgrimage for the Medieval occident. For around one thousand years many went there by roads which they called “paths to paradise” hoping for eternity. The Abbey became a prison during the times of the French Revolution and Empire, it had to be restored at the end of the 19th century. The Mont Saint-Michel Abbey was declared world heritage by the UNESCO in 1979 and is the center of tourism welcoming 2.5 million visitors annually.
What can you do at The Mont Saint-Michel Abbey?
Its location is right in the middle of the bay, at the entrance you can find the tourist office which was previously the ancient Burgher’s Guardroom. After passing through the Boulevard Gate and The king’s gate fortified you will see the “Grande Rue” which is the main street, where you can find shops, museums and houses from the 15th and 16th century. Some of the museums you will find are The Archeoscope, The Museum of history, The Maritime and Ecology Museum and the Tiphaine’s house. Last of all we can see the “Grande Degre” or the big staircase a prelude to the “Marveille”. After seeing the marvelous Abbey Church, you can enjoy the beautiful view of the bay. The Mont Saint-Michel Abbey is a place filled with plenty of historical sites which guarantee a once in a lifetime experience.