Mont-Saint-Michel


Mont-Saint-Michel
/mawonn saonn mee shel"/, n.
a rocky islet near the coast of NW France, in an inlet of the Gulf of St. Malo: famous abbey and fortress.
Also, Mont Saint Michel.

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Rocky, almost circular islet rising out of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay between Brittany and Normandy, northwestern France.

It only becomes an island at high tide. Around its base are medieval walls and towers, above which rise the village's clustered buildings, with an ancient abbey crowning the mount. Over the centuries it has been a pilgrimage center, fortress, and prison. The fine abbey church has an imposing 11th-century Romanesque nave and an elegant Flamboyant-style Gothic choir. The exterior walls of the Gothic monastery building combine the power of a military fortress and the simplicity of a religious building. Some of the houses bordering the island's narrow, winding streets date back to the 15th century.

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rocky islet and famous sanctuary in Manche département, Basse-Normandie région, off the coast of Normandy, France. It lies 41 miles (66 km) north of Rennes and 32 miles (52 km) east of Saint-Malo. Around its base are medieval walls and towers above which rise the clustered buildings of the village with the ancient abbey crowning the mount. One of the more popular tourist attractions in France, Mont-Saint-Michel was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.

      Mont-Saint-Michel is almost circular (about 3,000 feet [900 metres] in circumference) and consists of a granite outcrop rising sharply (to 256 feet [78 metres]) out of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay (between Brittany and Normandy). Most of the time it is surrounded by vast sandbanks and becomes an island only when the tides are very high. Before the construction of the 3,000-foot causeway that connects the island to land, it was particularly difficult to reach because of quicksand and very fast-rising tides. The causeway, however, has become a barrier to the removal of material by the tides, resulting in higher sandbanks between the islet and the coast.

      The island was originally called Mont-Tombe but became known as Mont-Saint-Michel in the 8th century, when St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, built an oratory there after having a vision of the archangel St. Michael (Michael). It rapidly became a pilgrimage centre, and in 966 a Benedictine abbey was built there. In 1203 it was partly burned when King Philip II of France tried to capture the mount. He compensated the monks by paying for the construction of the monastery known as La Merveille (“The Wonder”).

      The island, which was fortified in 1256, resisted sieges during the Hundred Years' War between England and France (1337–1453) and the French Wars of Religion (France) (1562–98). The monastery declined in the 18th century, and only seven monks were living there when it was dissolved during the French Revolution (France) (1787–99). It became a state prison under Napoleon I (reigned 1804–14/15) and remained a prison until 1863; in 1874 it was classified as a historic monument and restored.

      The fine abbey church that towers over the island has an imposing 11th- and 12th-century Romanesque (Romanesque art) nave and an elegant choir in Flamboyant Gothic style (Gothic art) (built 1450–1521). The tower and spire, crowned by a statue of St. Michael, were added in the 19th century. The church is built over three crypts, the oldest dating probably from Carolingian times (8th–10th centuries). The exterior walls of the splendid Gothic monastery La Merveille (built by 1228) combine the powerful characteristics of a military fortress and the simplicity of a religious building. The most striking sections are the refectory, with its high, narrow windows, and the magnificent cloister, with its fine sculptures. There is a panoramic view of the bay from the medieval walls (13th–15th centuries) on the southern and eastern sides of the mount. The houses (now mainly hotels or tourist shops) along the narrow street winding up to the abbey date in some cases to the 15th century. Pop. (1999) 46; (2006 est.) 41.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MONT-SAINT-MICHEL — Le rocher de Mont Tombe, séparé du continent par la grande marée de 709, abritait déjà des cultes à saint Étienne et à saint Symphorien lorsque, en 708, une apparition de l’archange Michel décida l’évêque d’Avranches à construire une église… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Mont-Saint-Michel —   [mɔ̃sɛ̃mi ʃɛl], 78 m hohe Granitinsel (900 m Umfang) an der Küste der Normandie, im Département Manche, Frankreich, mit dem Fremdenverkehrsort Le Mont Saint Michel (72 Einwohner). Die Insel ist mit dem Festland durch einen 2 km langen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Mont-Saint-Michel — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda redirect to:Monte Saint Michel Obtenido de Mont Saint Michel …   Wikipedia Español

  • Mont-Saint-Michel, Le — (spr. lö mong ßäng mischäl), Flecken im franz. Depart. Manche, Arrond. Avranches, auf einem isolierten, 50 m hohen Granitfelsen in der gleichnamigen, tief in das Land ein schneidenden Bai des Kanals gelegen, bildet zur Flutzeit eine Insel, ist… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mont-Saint-Michel — (izg. mȏñ sȅn mišȅl) m DEFINICIJA geogr. pov. mali granitni otok i naselje na obali Normandije, Francuska, 80 stan., s obalom spojen nasipom; jedinstven spomenik srednjovjekovne samostanske i tvrđavne arhitekture …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Mont-Saint-Michel — Le Mont Saint Michel 48° 38′ 10″ N 1° 30′ 41″ W / 48.636028, 1.511393 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mont Saint Michel — Le Mont Saint Michel 48° 38′ 10″ N 1° 30′ 41″ W / 48.636028, 1.511393 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mont Saint-Michel — For the municipality in Canada, see Mont Saint Michel, Quebec. For the island off the coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom, see St Michael s Mount. Le Mont Saint Michel Le Mont Saint Michel …   Wikipedia

  • Mont-Saint-Michel — Dieser Artikel beschreibt die französische Ortschaft Mont Saint Michel am Ärmelkanal. Den gleichnamigen Berg in den Vogesen ersehen sie unter Saint Jean Saverne. Le Mont Saint Michel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mont Saint-Michel — Dieser Artikel beschreibt die französische Ortschaft Mont Saint Michel am Ärmelkanal. Den gleichnamigen Berg in den Vogesen ersehen sie unter Saint Jean Saverne. Le Mont Saint Michel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mont Saint Michel — Dieser Artikel beschreibt die französische Ortschaft Mont Saint Michel am Ärmelkanal. Den gleichnamigen Berg in den Vogesen ersehen sie unter Saint Jean Saverne. Le Mont Saint Michel …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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