Le Mont Saint-Michel
This is a scroll shaped, bronze coloured, metal fridge magnet souvenir depicting Le Mont Saint Michel in France. Le Mont Saint-Michel is located in Lower Normandy, France. It has a tiny population of 44 (2009) and a Land area of 0.97 km2 (0.37 sq mi). The island's highest point is 92 metres (301 feet) above sea level. One of France's most recognisable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and is a popular tourist destination with more than 3 million people visit it each year. The tides can vary greatly, at roughly 14 metres (46 ft) between high and low water marks. Popularly nicknamed "St. Michael in peril of the sea" by medieval pilgrims making their way across the flats, the mount can still pose dangers for visitors who avoid the causeway and attempt the hazardous walk across the sands from the neighbouring coast.
Church On Mont Saint Michel
William de Volpiano, the Italian architect who had built the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy, was chosen as building contractor by Richard II of Normandy in the 11th century. He designed the Romanesque church of the abbey, daringly placing the transept crossing at the top of the mount. Many underground crypts and chapels had to be built to compensate for this weight; these formed the basis for the supportive upward structure that can be seen today. Today Mont Saint-Michel is seen as a Romanesque style church. Robert de Thorigny, a great supporter of Henry II of England (who was also Duke of Normandy), reinforced the structure of the buildings and built the main facade of the church in the 12th century. In 1204 the Breton Guy de Thouars, allied to the King of France, undertook the siege of the Mount. After having set fire to the village and having massacred the population, he was obliged to beat a retreat under the powerful walls of the abbey. Unfortunately, the fire which he himself lit extended to the buildings, and the roofs fell prey to the flames. Horrified by the cruelty and the exactions of his Breton ally, Philip Augustus offered Abbot Jourdain a grant for the construction of a new Gothic-style architectural set which included the addition of the refectory and cloister. Charles VI is credited with adding major fortifications to the abbey-mount, building towers, successive courtyards and strengthening the ramparts. The structural composition of the town exemplifies the feudal society that constructed it -on top God, the church and monastery, below this the Great halls, then stores and housing, and at the bottom, outside the walls fishermen and farmers housing.