Mont Saint Michel, a picturesque fortified rocky outcrop that dates back to the Middle Ages. It is a wonder of Gothic architecture on three floors, dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
One of France’s most iconic sights, the stunning UNESCO World Heritage listed island of Mont Saint Michel and its bay.Magnificent medieval abbey at the island’s summit, a historical masterpiece. Magic of the island and the breath-taking sight of the Bay of Mont Saint Michel.
French historic monument since 1874, the Abbey of the Mont-Saint-Michel is an architectural gem dating back to medieval times. Looking down from on high over the immense bay that surrounds. The long history of a Christian presence on the Mont-Saint-Michel is believed to date back to 708. In the 10th century, Benedictine monks established an abbey on the Mount.
The Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel would become a place of worship, prayer, and pilgrimage over the years. Benedictine monks, who have been there since 966 and translated Aristotle’s texts, and the relics of Saint-Michel, attracted the faithful in search of spirituality. One can see the vestiges of the One-Hundred Year War during a visit. And in 1204, the abbey was attacked by war-hungry Breton knights acting under the command of Guy de Thouars.
It was under the reign of King Louis XI that Mont Saint-Michel became France’s version of Alcatraz. Transformed into a detention center, it took in prisoners until 1860.. When the prison closed a century later following an imperial decree, the 650 prisoners were transferred to the continent. Victor Hugo, an ardent lover of the abbey, was one of many who called for the prison’s closure.
The time of the French Revolution there were scarcely any monks in residence. The abbey was closed and converted into a reformatory, initially to hold clerical opponents of the republican régime. High-profile political prisoners followed, but by 1836 influential figures, including Victor Hugo, had launched a campaign to restore what was seen as a national architectural treasure. The prison was finally closed in 1863, in 1874. The Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay were added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1979.