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Life Pictures of Mont St. Michel

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&safe=off&q=Mont+St.+Michel+source:life&sa=N&start=0&ndsp=21

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Mont St. Michel crowned by abbey built by monks in the 13th century.

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American travelers building a sand replica of France's medieval abbey at Mont-Saint-Michel in the background, July 1948

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View from abbey onto causeway leading to Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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Looking out to sea from a tower on Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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American travelers sitting below France's medieval abbey at Mont-Saint-Michel reading together from a book. July 1948

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Visitors outside Mont Ste. Michel watching tides. November 1952

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Tourists climbing staircase to the abbey on Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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View of main entrance to village and abbey on Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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Tourist couple climbing down narrow staircase from abbey to the street on Mont Saint Michel. APRIL 1946

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View from fortifications looking down on gardens and walls of village on Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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Tourist couple looking down from choir loft in monastery on Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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French priest holding Sunday services outdoors for American soldiers who are part of Allied invasion forces. 1944

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French priest praying with wounded American soldier during Sunday services. 1944

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Tourist couple looking down on courtyards and gardens from church spire on Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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Tourist couple walking down the main street of Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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Tourist couple visiting the guest hall in the abbey on Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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Tourist couple relaxing in cloister of abbey on Mont Saint Michel. April 1946

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Man, I want to visit there someday.  St. Mike is one of my patron saints.

Nice pics! Smile
(09-10-2009, 01:37 AM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: [ -> ]Man, I want to visit there someday.  St. Mike is one of my patron saints.

Nice pics! Smile

I do too! My heart skipped a beat when I saw those aerial shots.
Is that an actually town on the lower wall? That would be interesting. It is really amazing how far the water recedes from the walls.
Mont St Michel: The best way up

By Anthony Peregrine, Daily Mail

Last updated at 09:35 24 March 2003

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/holida...ay-up.html

Mont St Michel

There are great churches and great abbeys across the whole of Europe. But Mont St Michel, in France, is in a league of its own.

Photographs give you a good idea of Notre Dame de Paris or St Peter's in Rome - but no photo can prepare you for the full impact of the rock-island abbey in the bay where the Brittany and Normandy coasts collide.

It hits the emotions as well as the senses. (Also the pocket, but we'll come to that.)

Approach across the flatlands and it beckons like a 550ft offshore mirage. It's alone. There are no other buildings or even bumps in the landscape to detract the attention. Mesmerising is the word.

Wreathed in early-morning mist, the Mont appears to have landed from a more majestic dimension. You're reluctant to believe that a little village is tucked in around its base. More reluctant to learn that its cafes sell hot dogs.

For 1,000 years, the abbey has exerted a mystical power over not only this bit of north-west France but the entire Christian world.

Since the tenth century, pilgrims have trekked across the vast, muddy bay to curry favour with the Archangel, whose apparition kicked off construction. During the Middle Ages, the Mont was one of the continent's key destinations.

So it remains. About 3.2 million visitors a year make it France's most popular site outside Paris. A few still arrive on foot, dodging quicksand and the fastest-rising tides in Europe.

Most take the easy way, driving out along the dyke-road, the Mont's link with the mainland, and parking right under the ramparts. They may not be able to do so much longer. The bay is silting up and the road is to be demolished so that the sea will swirl freely around the rock and sweep sediment away.

In a £100 million project, the road will be replaced by a footbridge under which tides can flow unhindered. Visitors will either have to walk the two kilometres from car parks or take an electric shuttle.

However you get to the Mont St Michel, the best idea is not to get there too fast. 'Spend time circling it first,' a friend told me before I went. She was right.

I took half a day to drive the flatlands edging the bay, through stone villages, by polders and along meadows thick with cows and sheep. I walked out on to headlands and stopped at information centres in Courtils and Genêts.

All the time, the Mont was rarely out of view across the hugeness of sky, sea and land - 'improbably strange and beautiful', as French author Guy de Maupassant wrote.

And then I was there, and what had seemed ethereal was suddenly a real place with solid elements you could itemise - walls, roofs, trees, delivery trucks and the three great entry gates built to keep the English out during the Hundred Years War.

I tackled the million or so steps to the top and took the £5 conducted tour. The buildings - church, chapels, refectory, cloisters - stack up in a stone labyrinth of grandeur and a masterpiece of weight distribution.

After a couple of hours, I went back down the steps (the Mont is all steps), walked the ramparts and watched the tide stealing up channels and over sandbanks.

I bought an £11 all-in ticket for the village's four museums. Only the Musée Historique proved worthwhile, mainly for its coverage of the island's time as a prison.

I wandered the steep, cramped commercial alley where taverns have served pilgrims for 1,000 years.

What with visits, a £4.50 guidebook, food and an ill-advised T-shirt, the Mont was giving my wallet a thrashing. Then again, the place has always been about money as well as the spirit.

The Mont St Michel gets you in its grip. As I drove away, it gradually returned from solid to mirage status.

Quite captivating.

Travel facts

Stay inland, away from the Mont, so you come at it fresh. The nearby town of Avranches is a handy base, and the Hotel Jardin des Plantes (10 Place Carnot, tel: 0033 233 58 03 68, doubles from £35) is a good mid-range choice, with satisfactory rooms and restaurant.

Don't wander out into the bay by yourself, it can be dangerous. Join a guided walk from the village of Genêts for £4. Contact La Maison de la Baie, tel: 0033 233 89 64 00.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/holida...z0QgVRdI7N


The stone walls weren't built until the 17th century, when it was converted into a prison.
I never got to visit here  sad I was at the train station a couple hours East of it, and train journey + waiting for the train equaled 5.5 hours. Which, considering it was only about 100 miles away, seemed ridiculous. Oh well. Fish-Eater Smackdown
The bronze statue of St Michael at the tip of the steeple was removed in the nineties for repairing the damages of the time (and thoses of thousands of lightnings).
When ready, embellished with gold, it was almost impossible to hoist it for weeks due to the anormally strong winds which blowed on the place (up to 200 km per hour) and gained strength each time the operation was set to begin, as if Satan himself was bursting in rage against his old fellow Michael the Archangel to prevent him coming back .
Thanks for sharing these.  I was there in February one year...man, is that some bracing wind!!  It was so cold we hardly noticed the stairs!!  ;D 
(09-10-2009, 08:21 AM)Magnificat Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks for sharing these.  I was there in February one year...man, is that some bracing wind!!  It was so cold we hardly noticed the stairs!!  ;D 

I envy you. Can you share any details about the experience?
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