Fantastique! Mont Ste. Michel is...


Mont Saint Michel

We stayed in Dinan, France, a couple of hours northwest of Paris.  It is a superb Medieval city with intact ramparts surrounding the slate-roofed stone block bulildings connected by narrow, winding cobblestone streets.  After a French breakfast of croissants and coffee, we took off for Mont Ste. Michel.  I had seen photos of it, and expected a typical chateau-type tourist trap, but was totally blown away by the scale, scope, and authenticity of this remarkable French monument.  It is situated on a tidal island near the English Channel.  Because the ocean tides completely surrounded this island, it has always held strategic value dating to the Romans who occupied it until the fifth-century.  After that, an abbey was built for a few hundred years inside a walled-city that nestles below it.  I enjoy climbing around in ancient fortresses, castles, and chateaus, but this is the premier edition of this era.  

I cannot describe the intricacy of the design, nor the scale of this construction.  Legend has it, it was built by direct command of Saint Michael the Archangel.  Apparently,  Saint Michael told Bishop Aubert several times to build an abbey, but the bishop ignored him.  

Saint Michael The Archangel, made his point by burning a hole into the bishop's skull with his forefinger.  Well, by year 933 the Abbey was built...and I might add, built pretty damn well!  

Some three million people visit Mont Sainte Michel each year.  We joined them one day and marveled along with the others



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