Abbaye MONT ST MICHEL
MONT ST MICHEL, FRANCE
The Abbaye du Mont Saint Michel is a Benedictine Abbaye, on a 264-foot-high rock just off the coast. When the tide is up, it is surrounded by water. They are quick, and can rise up to 45 feet at high tide at a fast speed. The sand is not the safest to walk, to walk the causway.
The original church dates to 1144. Additional buildings were added in the 13th century. The construction was a major feat. With granite taken from the nearby Isles of Chausey, and overall construction taking more than 500 years - 1017 to 1521.
Don't let the entrance to Mont St. Michel turn you off. As you approach the "island" you will find car parking lots, and what seems like an endless number of tourist busess parked along the causway.
Walk over the drawbridge into the town and the narrow street that winds its way up to the abbaye is line with stores catering to tourists. Never fear, if you were made in time there would be merchants all catering to pilgrims that flocked to the Abbaye from all over Europe, so in a way, not much as changed!
The way to the top is worth it.
There are various tours that can be taken to see various parts of the abbaye. Some are in Frency and English, some only in French.
The architecture of the Abbaye is Romanesque and Gothic.
Some of the tours include areas such as the Église Abbatiale, the abbey church; and the Merveille, a 13th-century, three-story collection of rooms and passageways built by King Philippe Auguste around and on top of the monastery.
The second floor of the Abbaye holds the Salle des Chevaliers - the grand room of the abbaye and this is impressive.
The Escalier de Dentelle, the Lace Staircase is also available by tour.
The cloisters, and their arcades off views of the bay. They date from the 13th Century.