AbbeyEuropeFranceIsland

Mont Saint Michel

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HISTORY

Le-Mont-Saint-Michel is a rocky island at the mouth of the River Couesnon, in France. The history of the abbey on Mont Saint-Michel is believed to have started in 708, when Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, built a sanctuary on Mont Tombe in honor of Saint Michael the Archangel (Saint-Michel). In the 10th century the Benedictine monks settled in the abbey and below it a small village was formed, perched on the mountain slopes.

The monastery, fortified in the 13th century, was part of a set of defensive bastions. At the end of the Middle Ages, these fortified cities, called "bastides", defended the borders of the kingdoms and also offered the people new opportunities for work and commerce. In France alone, between the years 1220 and 1350, more than 300 were built. Approximately between 1136 and 1270, in addition to the "bastides", they were designed and built across Europe, from Portugal to Poland, and particularly in the southwest of France. , numerous "villeneuves" (new cities), which contributed greatly to the birth and consolidation of the bourgeoisie as a new social class.

WHY THIS PLACE

A fluid and unique geography, dominated by the tides, for a ceremony in harmony not only with the architectural beauty of the Abbey, but also with nature and its constant transformations.

CURIOSITIES

• Its old name is "Mont Saint-Michel in danger of the sea" (in Latin: Mons Sancti Michaeli in periculomari).
• Declared a historical monument in 1987, the site has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1979.
• During the Hundred Years' War between France and England, Mont Saint-Michel was an impregnable fortress, resisting all English attempts to take it and thus becoming a symbol of French national identity. After the dissolution of religious orders, dictated by the French Revolution, it was used as a prison from 1789 until 1863.
• The mount was connected to the mainland through a natural isthmus that was completely submerged during high tides, but over the centuries the floodplain around the Mount has been drained to create pastures, thus reducing the distance between the rock and dry land, and the Couesnon River was channeled, decreasing its water supply and accelerating the silting up of the bay. In 1879 the isthmus was strengthened and became a perennial dry passage. It was only in 2006 that the French government announced the approval of a project to restore Mont-Saint-Michel to its former island nature, through the construction of dams.

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