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Photographer's Note

Mont Saint-Michel was used in the sixth and seventh centuries as an Armorican stronghold of Romano-Breton culture and power, until it was ransacked by the Franks, thus ending the trans-channel culture that had stood since the departure of the Romans in AD 460.

Before the construction of the first monastic establishment in the 8th century, the island was called Mont Tombe. According to legend, the archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, in 708 and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet. Aubert repeatedly ignored the angel's instruction, until Michael burned a hole in the bishop's skull with his finger.

The mount gained strategic significance in 933 when William "Long Sword", Duke of Normandy, annexed the Cotentin Peninsula, definitively placing the mount in Normandy. It is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry, which commemorates the 1066 Norman conquest of England. Ducal patronage financed the spectacular Norman architecture of the abbey in subsequent centuries.

In 1067, the monastery of Mont Saint-Michel gave its support to duke William of Normandy in his claim to the throne of England. It was rewarded with properties and grounds on the English side of the Channel, including a small island located at the west of Cornwall, which, modelled after the Mount, became a Norman priory named St Michael's Mount of Penzance.

During the Hundred Years' War the English made repeated assaults on the island but were unable to seize it, partly because of the abbey's improved fortifications. Les Michelettes, two wrought-iron bombards left by the English in their failed 1423–24 siege of Mont Saint-Michel, are still displayed near the outer defense wall.


Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometer off the country's north coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches.

Mont Saint-Michel was previously connected to the mainland via a thin natural land bridge, which before modernization was covered at high tide and revealed at low tide. Thus, Mont Saint-Michel has been compromised by several developments. Over the centuries, the coastal flats have been polderised to create pasture. Thus the distance between the shore and the south coast of Mont-Saint-Michel has decreased. The Couesnon River has been canalised, reducing the flow of water and thereby encouraging a silting-up of the bay. In 1879, the land bridge was fortified into a true causeway. This prevented the tide from scouring the silt round the mount.

On 16 June 2006, the French prime minister and regional authorities announced a €164 million project to build a hydraulic dam that will help remove the accumulated silt and make Mont Saint-Michel an island again. It is expected to be completed by 2012.

Mont Saint-Michel

shevchenko, patdeph oznaczył to zdjęcie jeko użyteczne

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Additional Photos by Oleg Kuznetsov (osub) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 28 W: 0 N: 264] (1663)
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