Mont-Saint-Michel


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Mont-Saint-Michel

(môN-săN-mēshĕl`), rocky isle (1993 est. pop. 72) in the Gulf of Saint-Malo, an arm of the English Channel, Manche dept., NW France, 1 mi (1.6 km) off the coast, near AvranchesAvranches
, town (1993 est. pop. 9,520), Manche dept., NW France, in Normandy, on the English Channel. Because of its proximity to the rocky island of Mont-Saint-Michel, Avranches has a large tourist trade.
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. The isle was long only accessible by land at low tide, but it was linked with the mainland by a causeway built in 1879, and by 2006 the silting of the surrounding waters caused Mont-Saint-Michel to be truly an island only at extreme high tides. Efforts to reverse the silting have since been undertaken, including the construction of a dam to help flush the silt and the replacement of the causeway with a new causeway and light bridge to allow the waters to circulate around the isle. The celebrated Benedictine abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel was founded in 708 by Saint Aubert, bishop of Avranches. A gigantic group of buildings, rising three stories high, serves, with the summit of the cone-shaped rock, as a base for the great abbey church. Six of these structures on the side facing the sea form the unit called La Merveille [the marvel], constructed from 1203 to 1228. Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most imposing achievements of Gothic architecture. Strongly fortified, the abbey was frequently assaulted by the English in the Hundred Years WarHundred Years War,
1337–1453, conflict between England and France. Causes

Its basic cause was a dynastic quarrel that originated when the conquest of England by William of Normandy created a state lying on both sides of the English Channel. In the 14th cent.
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 but was never captured. It remains one of the major tourist attractions of Europe. Henry Adams wrote of it with feeling in Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres.

Mont-Saint-Michel

a rocky islet off the coast of NW France, accessible at low tide by a causeway, in the Bay of St Michel (an inlet of the Gulf of St Malo): Benedictine abbey (966), used as a prison from the Revolution until 1863; reoccupied by Benedictine monks since 1966. Area: 1 hectare (3 acres)
References in periodicals archive ?
In later centuries, Mont-Saint-Michel served as a fortress and prison, symbolizing the national faith, as well as fortitude and resilience.
Austrian-born Feichtinger created the Passerelle Mont-Saint-Michel to replace the 135-year-old causeway that first connected the island to the mainland, but also caused a build-up of silt in the sea which blocked the channel.
Deuxieme du contre-la-montre du Mont-Saint-Michel, a 12 secondes de Tony Martin, Chris Froome a frappe tres fort : Alejandro Valverde, son dauphin, est desormais relegue a 3'25" au general.
TOUR DE FRANCE: Chris Froome more than doubled his overall lead as he finished a close second in yesterday's individual time trial to the world heritage site of Mont-Saint-Michel.
CHRIS Froome more than doubled his overall lead in the Tour de France as he finished a close second in yesterday's individual time trial to the world heritage site of Mont-Saint-Michel, but there was more controversy for Mark Cavendish as a spectator threw urine on him out on the course.
CHRIS Froome strengthened his grip on the yellow jersey in the 100th Tour de France as he finished second behind Tony Martin in yesterday's individual time trial to Mont-Saint-Michel.
CYCLING: Tour de France, stage 11, individual time trial from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel - British Eurosport 12.45pm and ITV4 2pm.
"Mont-Saint-Michel comes into view like a sublime thing, a marvelous pyramid," declared Victor Hugo, France's famous novelist.
His later works, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres and The Education of Henry Adams are examined last.
Medieval pilgrims making the dangerous journey from the Norman-Breton coast to the island monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel would have passed a tall stone cross rising out of the sands about halfway between the mainland and the north shore of the Mont.
Mont-Saint-Michel and Ile de Porquerolles, islands off France, are also car free.
Henry Adams' book Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (1913), a classic of its kind, explains why this shrine had a special significance in the Middle Ages.