Mont St Michel, Brittany, France

Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.

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From 966 onwards, the dukes of Normandy, followed by French kings, supported the development of a major Benedictine abbey on the Mont-Saint-Michel. Magnificent monastic buildings were added through medieval times, one vertiginous section being nicknamed The Marvel. The abbey became a renowned centre of learning, attracting some of the greatest minds and manuscript illuminators in Europe. Vast numbers of pilgrims visited, despite warring cross-Channel royals. However, the ramparts at the base of the island were built to keep English forces out.

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Mont St Michel viewed from Le Pont Landais area
Mont St Michel viewed from the causeway
Mont St Michel viewed from La Caserne area

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View of Mont Saint-Michel Bay
Ripples of sand along Le Couesnon River
View of Le Couesnon River

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Courtyard of the Tour du Roi
Houses of Les Terasses Poulard along the Grande Rue
Coat of arms and drawbridge of the Gate of the King

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Houses viewed overlooking the Mont Saint-Michel Bay from Logis Saint Catherine
Tower of Mont St Michel Abbey with St Michael statue
Crosses on the roof of a storehouse

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Mont Saint-Michel Bay and rocky outcrop viewed from Tour Boucle

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Mont St Michel Abbey and houses viewed from the city ramparts near Tour de la Liberte
Mont St Michel Abbey viewed from the city ramparts near Tour Basse
Mont St Michel Abbey viewed from near Tour du Nord

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Mont St Michel Abbey Cloister Garden
St Michael statue on top of the tower of Mont St Michel Abbey
Facade of the Benedictine Abbey Church of Mont St Michel Abbey

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Mont St Michel Abbey Cloister Garden

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Art installation in the Cloister
View of the Abbey from Tour du Nord
Mont St Michel Abbey Cloister Garden

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Sculpture in the Benedictine Church of Mont St Michel Abbey
Mother and child statue near in the entrance of the Mont St Michel Abbey Parish Church
Statue of St Peter in the Mont St Michel Abbey Parish Church
Mother and child statue in the Mont St Michel Abbey Parish Church
Art exhibition the Mont St Michel Abbey Cloister
Cross in the in the Mont St Michel Abbey Garden near Tour du Nord

 

 

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