||The Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel is built in a tidal basin on a
solid granite out-cropping off the Region of Lower Normandy.
The abbey dates back to Roman times,
and was founded by Aubert,
Bishop of Avranches. It was called Mont Tombe [a sanctuary ]
dedicated to the Archangel Michael, on October 16, in
Officially the name became Mont-Saint-Michel some two hundred years
later, when the church was built on top of this granite out-cropping
Benedictine Monks. However the old name still remained Mont
until sometime in the 17th century. thus eventually became Mont
The Romanesque abbey of today was not started until the year 1023.
It was built primarily as in those times for the church to enforce
its authority during the crusades.
The structure had added additions to the point, that, the summit could
not hold the structure. Designs for additional supports
[artificial cliffs] were designed and built, however one failed to
support the structure and collapsed. This was just one of many disasters to trouble the abbey over the centuries.
Holding its own through many assaults during numerous battles over
the centuries, but not without death and destruction, the popularity of the abbey was untold. Through
the influence of many foundations both English and French, the
wealth and influence of the Abbey became powerful, but with the
pilgrimage waning along with the reformation, by the time the French
Revolution came along there were few monks still in residence and
this remarkable and beautiful former abbey eventually became a
prison. Holding some very influential French including Victor
The tides are some of the most dangerous in the world, for this
seeming tranquil quiet abbey that stands so proud on the summit in
rather calm looking tidal pools, yet
the tides are fierce and have killed many people over the centuries.
The tides come in swiftly changing between low and high tides up to
60 feet, and with a force of over 3 feet per second.
You can travel and visit the abbey easily now, for they built a
causeway in the year 1879. However, do not try to walk the
flats around Mont-Saint-Michel during low tides, it could cost you
your life. There are tour guides that lead these walks, and who
are well aware of the tides schedule. Only venture out of the
flats with a guide. The
lower parking lot is submerged during high tide.