Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel
View of Mount Saint-Michel at night in Normandy, France
Photo by: Benh LIEU SONG, Creative Commons

Located in Normandy, France, Mont Saint-Michel (also known as Lee Mont St-Michel) is a rocky island that is famous for being the home for the medieval Benedictine Abbey and church. It was used primarily during the 6th and the 7th century as a stronghold of the Romano and British culture.

One of the stories of legend about Mont Saint-Michel is that the archangel Michael once came to St. Aubert, the bishop of Avranches, and asked him to make a church on this rocky island. However, Aubert kept ignoring him until Michael burned a hole in his skull by using only his finger. In October 709, the oratory, or place of worship, was finally constructed and dedicated to St. Michel. It is believed that St. Aubert is buried there.

In the 11th century, an Italian architect designed the Roman church building of the Benedictine Abbey that was constructed on the mount. There are numerous underground crypts and chapels which help balance the weight of the building and keep the structure supported on the ground.

In 2006, France announced that it would begin building a hydraulic dam that would remove silt surrounding the Mont Saint-Michel to make it into an island once again. The project began in 2009 and was completed by 2013. Tours of the Mont Saint-Michel are available and they typically average between 35 and 45 minutes in length.

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