Mini-blog: Dreaming of Mont Saint Michel

Holy nostalgia Batman! This just popped up in my WordPress feed and transported me back to the age of 17 and a choir trip to England and France. It’s basically the only time I’ve been overseas, apart from New Zealand one time. The highlight of the whole trip for was Mont Saint-Michel, followed closely by the Montmartre area of paris.

I was a highly romantic teenager and I still had a very complicated and murky relationship with my Catholic upbringing. Something about Mont Saint-Michel played into all of that, and I remember the visit as a kind of waking dream. An experience so vivid, beautiful, and unexpected that it was hard to fit it into my concept of reality at the time…

inside-the-castle
Looking towards the spires from within Mont Saint Michel. Actually too beautiful. Photo © Riccardo Montero.

Inspired Architecture

Appropriately enough, the revolutionary architectural design was created to fulfill the dream-vision of an 8th century Bishop named Aubert. In the vision, the Archangel Michael burnt a hole in Aubert’s skull with his finger, commanding him to build a church honouring Michael atop the narrow peak of the island then known as Mount Tomb…

As part of their Planet Earth series, Great Big Story visited the stunning Mont Saint-Michel, a timeless medieval castle that historically served as both abbey and monastery and sits just 1 meter off the coast of Normandy, France. While not always surrounded by water, the castle now sits atop a tidal island due to an…

via The Timeless Beauty of Mont Saint-Michel, A Medieval Island Abbey Near Normandy, France — Laughing Squid

Bonus Historical Background Content!

For history lovers like me, Mont Saint Michel also has a lot to offer. As just one example, during the anti-religious fervours of the French Revolution the Church and surrounding monastery were transformed into a massive island prison. In 1836, Victor Hugo wrote this of Mont Saint Michel:

“All around us, as far as one can see, infinite space, the blue horizon of the sea, the green horizon of the earth, clouds, air, freedom, birds in full flight, ships with full sails; and then, all of a sudden, there, in the crack of an old wall, above our heads, through a barred window, the pale face of a prisoner.”

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