Mont-Saint-Michel with straw bales in foreground DSC_4733

R5,000.00

Description

St Michael´s Mount and farm land with wheat bales, Manche Department, Basse-Normandie region, Normandy, France, Europe

Mont-Saint-Michel is almost circular (about 3,000 feet [900 metres] in circumference) and consists of a granite outcrop rising sharply 80 metres out of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay 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 kilometre 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 original site was founded by an Irish hermit, who gathered a following from the local community. Mont-Saint-Michel was used in the sixth and seventh centuries as an Armorican stronghold of Gallo-Roman culture and power until it was ransacked by the Franks, thus ending the trans-channel culture that had stood since the departure of the Romans in 460. From roughly the fifth to the eighth century, Mont Saint-Michel belonged to the territory of Neustria and, in the early ninth century, was an important place in the Marches of Neustria.

The wealth and influence of the abbey extended to many daughter foundations, including St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. However, its popularity and prestige as a centre of pilgrimage waned with the Reformation, and by the time of the French Revolution there were scarcely any monks in residence. The abbey was closed and converted into a prison, initially to hold clerical opponents of the republican regime. High-profile political prisoners followed, but by 1836, influential figures—including Victor Hugo had launched a campaign to restore what was seen as a national architectural treasure. The prison was finally closed in 1863, and the mount was declared a historic monument in 1874. Mont Saint-Michel and it’s bay were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites in 1979, and it was listed with criteria such as cultural, historical, and architectural significance, as well as human-created and natural beauty.

I took this photo during my trip to France in July of 2018.