Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel Abbey

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About Mont Saint Michel Abbey

Famously referred to as “the wonder of the western world,” the Mont Saint Michel Abbey is one of the most stunning examples of the Romanesque and Gothic style of architecture from the early 13th century. Attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world every year, the Mont Saint Michel is located in the Normandy region, and is considered to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is a prominent site of the medieval Christian civilisation, and was originated in 708 AD, when Bishop Aubert constructed the oratory on Mont Tombe to honour Archangel Michael.

It was almost two centuries later, when the Benedictine monks settled here, thereby making the Mont Saint Michel Abbey a major pilgrimage site for the Christians in the West. Boasting of several different styles of architecture, including the magnificent Merveille building, the Abbey has also undergone a lot of decay and collapse.

It was in 1874 when the restoration work of the Abbey began after it was classified as a historical monument. As of today, it stands as a true testimony of the grandeur and opulence of the structures from ages ago, where visitors come to admire its magnificence and marvel at its beauty.

History of Mont Saint Michel Abbey

Mont Saint Michel Abbey

The rich and vivid history of Mont Saint Michel Abbey France began in 708 AD, when Bishop Aubert was visited by Archangel Michael in his dream. In the dream, the Archangel asked the Bishop to erect a sanctuary on Mont Tombe. A couple centuries later, in 966 AD, Benedictine monks settled here and were responsible for the growth of a new monastery. This made the Abbey quickly gain popularity as a major pilgrimage site for the Christians.

Furthermore, it also became an important centre of medieval culture, owing to the large number of manuscripts that were produced and stored here. Over the next few centuries, up until the 19th century, the monument underwent a lot of restorations, and thereafter transformed into the structure that it is today.

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The Architecture of Mont Saint Michel Abbey

Mont Saint Michel

It took over 1,300 years for the construction of the Mont Saint Michel Abbey, which stands tall on a granite inlet and is surrounded on all sides by sand. It is a great example of a medieval structure and boasts of the Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture. It consists of the La Merveille, a 13th century cloister, which is a three-tiered structure with a height of 35 metres.

Owing to numerous renovations and reconstructions throughout the different times in history, the Abbey now boasts of high and slender carved arches, including huge stained-glass windows. Regardless of all the reconstructions, the Mont Saint Michel Abbey is nothing short of an architectural as well as technical wonder.

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Mont Saint Michel Abbey FAQs

What is the Abbey in Mont Saint Michel?

The Mont Saint Michel Abbey is one of the most famous French monuments, located in Normandy, and also serves as an important site of pilgrimage for the Christians in the West.

Do monks still live in Mont St Michel?

Yes, two groups of monks and nuns from the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem still live in Mont Saint Michel Abbey.

Why was the Saint Mont Michel Abbey built?

The Mont Saint Michel Abbey was built because Saint Aubert, the Bishop of Avranches, was visited by Archangel Michael in a dream, who asked the former to build a chapel on Saint Mont Michel.

How far is Mont Saint Michel from Paris?

Mont Saint Michel is located around 360 kilometres from Paris.

What is the best way to see Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel?

The best way to see Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel is by indulging in a guided tour of the island as well as the abbey.

Is the Mont St Michel Abbey open?

Yes, the Mont Saint Michel Abbey is open to visitors who wish to come here and marvel at the architecture, while also learning about the history of this chapel.

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