The Evergreen Appeal of Le Mont Saint Michel
Located 1 km off the French northwestern coast at Normandy, Mont Saint Michel is a beautiful tidal island. It spreads over 247 acres and has a rocky terrain near Avranches at the mouth of the Couesnon River. The island is very sparsely populated but has immense importance in terms of its strategically constructed forts. It was added in the World Heritage Site list of UNESCO in 1979 and as one of the most well-recognized French tourist spot, attracts more than 3 million people annually. The Benedictine Abbey is the prime attraction of the island. The church standing tall on the 1 km-diameter rocks protruding from the English Channel has spell of its own and it features prominently in this metal fridge magnet souvenir of Mont Saint Michel. This brass-colored magnet is shaped like an ancient scroll, which you will find really unique.
Interesting Facts about Mont Saint Michel
The legend behind the construction of the church is that the Archangel Michael appeared and inspired Aubert - the Bishop of Avranches into building an oratory on Mont Tombe (as Mont-St-Michel was known at that time). Historically, William de Volpiano, an Italian architect of the 11th century is given credit for designing the Romanesque church of the abbey. The structure was reinforced in the 12th century by Robert de Thorigny by constructing the main facade of the Church. In 1204, Philip Augustus, the French King facilitated the further construction of a cloister and refectory in a new Gothic style. The abbey was closed during the Revolution and served as a prison for priests. However, under the leadership of prominent figures like Victor Hugo, the prison was closed in 1863 and Mont Saint Michel became a historic monument in 1874.