◄ Mont Saint Michel, France [HD] ►

◄ Mont Saint Michel, France [HD] ►

You have made it to one of the most remarkable
examples of medieval architecture in the whole world. I welcome you to the magnificent Mont
Saint Michel; The Mountain of Saint Michael. Standing on a rock peak, the church of Mont
Saint Michel has a commanding view over the vast bay. This bay was however in prehistoric
times a part of the coastland. Over million of years, rising sea levels lead to erosions
which tore down and shaped the coastal landscape. Some blocks of granite resisted the wear and
tear of the ocean better than its surroundings, which is why Mont-Saint-Michel, together with
a few other rocks, is standing tall in an otherwise flat and ever-changing landscape.
The origin of the Mont Saint Michel dates back to sixth and seventh century, when Armorican
Gauls used the island as a stronghold of Breton culture and power. During this time the island
was known as “Monte Tombe”. After the Romans left Britannia, today’s United Kingdom, in
mid 5th century, many Britons crossed the channel due to fear of the increasing Anglo-Saxon
influence. This emigration is the reason why the region is called Bretagne, in English
“Brittany”- “little Britain”. The Monte Tombe served as a stronghold until it was later
sacked by the Franks, which ended the era of Celtic cultural links between Britannia
and the region Bretagne. This site got it current name in 709, when
the bishop of Avranches, St. Aubert, ordered a small church to be build here. The legend
says that the Archangel Saint Michael, leader of the armies of heaven, appeared before the
bishop and instructed him to build the church on this rocky isle. Today, a golden statue
of Saint Michael can bee seen at the top of the church spire, protecting and overlooking
the entire island. The original church was rather small, but
the church and its surroundings grew as time passed. Much of this construction was financed
by ducal patronage. After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the church gave its support
to duke William of Normandy in his claim to the English throne. This resulted in the church
gaining both political and financial power to expand the constructions on Mont Saint
Michel. The church was originally a typical Romanesque church but it to, as many other
churches during the late medieval period, was affected by the wave of Gothic architecture
that spread throughout Europe. The church is today seen as a Gothic style church. Throughout the Middle Age, a village grew
up around the church, mostly on the eastern side of the island. Many of these old buildings
are still standing today. In the 14th century, during the Hundred Years War between France
and England, the church of Mont Saint Michel and its surrounding village were fortified
in order to be able to fend off English attackers. Much of the walls around the island dates
back to this period. The English did assault the island several times, but were unable
to seize it. The island has ever since its creation been
a place of pilgrimage, but its importance grew during the Middle Age. For nearly one
thousand years, people have traveled to Mont Saint Michel in hope for salvation. The land
strip between land and the island was called “the path to paradise” and it’s quite easy
to understand the fascination people had, and still have, for this place. Mont Saint
Michel stands like a beacon of light in the flat landscape, almost like taken from a fairytale
or a movie. Its popularity as a centre of pilgrimage did
however decrease with the Reformation which began in early 16th century. By the time of
the French Revolution there were scarcely any monks in residence. After the revolution,
the church was closed and converted into a prison, designed to hold religious and political
enemies to the new regime. In 1836, influential figures including the
popular writer Victor Hugo, launched a campaign to restore what was seen as a national architectural
treasure. This lead to a closure of the prison almost 30 years later and the island was declared
a historic monument in 1874. While the Mont Saint Michel itself is breathtaking,
it is not the only thing this area is known for. The other thing is of course the tidewater.
Tidewater is caused by the gravity of the sun and the moon, together with the earth’s
rotation. The tide varies the most shortly after a full moon. This site you are visiting
right now has the highest tides in all of Europe. The tide varies greatly, roughly 15
meters between high and low water marks. This area also has some of the fastest moving tides.
During the period when the tides shift the most, the sea pulls back 15 kilometers from
the coast and comes in again very quickly. As Victor Hugo described it, the water moves
“as swiftly as a galloping horse”. Needless to say, it is dangerous to venture alone into
the bay. Mont Saint Michel was the first French site
to be added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites in 1979. It was listed with criteria
such as “cultural”, “historical”, “of architectural significance”, as well as “human-created”
and “natural beauty”. It’s a clear sign of how special and unique this place really is.
While the site no longer attracts masses of pilgrims, it attracts another type of visitor.
You guessed it; tourists. The island itself only has a population of around 50, but it
is visited by around 3.5 million people each year.
As you now know, Mont Saint Michel has been an important site throughout history, mostly
as a religious site, but also as a military fortification.

50 Replies to “◄ Mont Saint Michel, France [HD] ►”

  1. I was lucky enough to stay here one night on a trip to France a few years ago.It is a spectacular place.Would love to go back again.I loved all the sheep,too!!

  2. le Mont Saint Michel n'appartient pas a la Jersey/Guernesey… il appartient à tous les francais et à la Normandie (département)..donc arrête de barouiner connard

  3. le mont st michel appartient a tout le monde mais on est fiere qu'il soit situé en normandie !!!! etant normand !!!!

  4. beautiful MONT SAINT MICHELS!!!
    Tai nuostabus grožis ypac nakti,kai sviecia-labai patinka,malomu žiūrėti.

  5. First heard about Mont Saint Michel from Henry Adams book. With this book in hand I made 2 pilgrimages to Europe, spending most of around çathedrals.
    To be continued…

  6. St. Michel. Den sælsomme ø rummer en lille by, et kloster og en klosterkirke, og en dæmning forbinder øen med fastlandet- Der var mulighed for at opleve dette årtusind-gamle minisamfund og det var i sig selv en stor oplevelse.

  7. I'm 13 and I can't wait to go here on a school trip during half term we are also visiting the American war memorials and the bayeux tapestry

  8. I forgot the movie name that depicted Saint Michel church. One lady fell in love with one man who went to Africa, and in the meantime he wrote letters to his lover, but his girlfriend's sister intercepted his letters and answered instead of her sister, then men asked her girlfriend's sister to where he stayed. Later on his gorlfriend found her sister snatched her lover so went to Saint Michel to pray, but the water returned that she could not back to home but dedicated her in the church.

  9. i went there 26 years ago on a school trip from england. I remember we had to go there when the tide was out otherwise the water would cover the road. Great video and thanks for uploading it!

  10. The entire castle like structure you see on the top of the island is that all just part of the church? or is there also a castle with bedrooms and bathrooms ect ?

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