Mont-Saint Michel is a famous Island in Normandy, situated where France meets England. It has the area of 100 hectors, but it has a population of only 50 people. These 50 people call it their home.
Things to Know Before Going to Mont Saint Michel
1. A dream of Bishop Aubert of Avranches
In 708 A.D, The Bishop Aubert of Avranches saw a dream in which he saw the Archangel Michael (who defeated Satan in the war in heaven), he was ordering Bishop Aubert to construct and oratory on the rocky island near the Cousenon river. Bishop Aubert ignored the vision. He saw several visions like this but ignored, at last, Archangel Michael put a hole in his head as a reminder. The skull of Bishop Aubert is still present in the Saint-Gervais d’Avranches basilica, with a scar of Michael. Michael said to Aubert, “Build it, and they will come.” Till now, pilgrims from the region and tourists from all over the world visit Mont-saint Michael.
2. Having largest Tides
The Mon-Saint Michael is located within the bay, and it only becomes a complete island with big tides which show-up 6 or 7 times in a year. These tides are the greatest in all over Europe. Sometimes the distance between small tides and large tides becomes 50 feet. See go out 9 miles away from the coast and then comes vigorously back.
3. The Pilgrimaged site
In France, Mont-Saint Michael is the second most pilgrimaged site. As it belongs to the Archangel Michael, as known, people like to visit and worship here. During middle ages, this was the famous pilgrimage of faith. Sometimes Pilgrims find difficulties in crossing the bay due to fast tides. When fast tides toll on pilgrims while crossing the bridge, people say that “Saint Michael in Peril of the Sea.” It is said that walking around the silt, across the bay or around the Mont-Saint Michael is dangerous, so to make the pilgrimage, one should take help of some certified guide.
4. The Mont-Saint Michael couldn’t conquer by English
It is known that during the War, English soldiers made several attacks on the island on the order of the Kingdom of England. But, no attack was successful. The Mont-Saint Michael stood in its place. ITs building is very strong that wrought-iron bombards did nothing to the building. The bombards are still present to mark that the fortress is protected by God. Another interesting fact is that the stand of Mont-Saint Michael against the war motivated a little girl Joan of Arc to turn against England. Her statue is present in the building.
5. It served as a prison
Mont-Saint Michael was served as a prison for many years. In 1791, it was converted in prison and they keep the opponents of the republican regime as prisoners in this building. Up to 300 priests were imprisoned there. It was named as “Bastille des Mers,” means “Bastille of the sea,” on the name a fortress in Paris which was used as prison years before during the Ancient Regime.
6. Use of Treadmill cranes in Mont-Saint Michael
When the Mont-Saint Michael was serving as a prison, some high-profile political prisons were imprisoned there. It was undefeated fort, therefore, prisoners couldn’t escape. It is known that Treadmills were used to live heavy objects during medieval ages for construction.
7. World Heritage site
Some historical sites in the world are categorized as World Heritage sites. UNESCO considered Mont-Saint Michael as the Heritage site. In 1979, UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage site. After then, the Mont-Saint Michael and its Benedictine abbey became the favorite destination for both pilgrims and tourists. UNESCO stated that “One of the most important sites of medieval Christian civilization, Recommendation: Mont St. Michel should be placed on the World Heritage List because of its exceptional combination of natural and cultural elements.”
8. Flooding never happened
One of the interesting facts about Mont-Saint Michael is that this island has never been flooded. The small islands have a disadvantage that they are prone to flooding. But Mont-Saint Michael has never faced flood due to its strong building, credits to its builders.
9. A protector
France faced years of War. During the war, Mont-Saint Michael acted as the protector of the Northwest region of France, because it has never been conquered.
10. Abbey Church disaster
Due to some reasons, the Abbey Church (of the Roman chair) collapsed. IT was re-build after 20 years. The disaster happened in 1421 and re-construction was started in 1446, completed in 1523.
11. For tourists
It is a famous tourist attraction. Although only 50 people call it their home. There are some hotels, good shops, and restaurants which are built, four tourists. Certified guides are available for Pilgrims and tourists. Other facilities like cafes, bars, etc. are also present there.