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Mont-Saint Michel

Mont-Saint Michel
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Legend has it that in 708, the Bishop of Avranche was visited three times in his sleep by the archangel Saint Michael, who implored him to build a sanctuary in his honor on the Mont Tombe, a small, rocky islet near the coast of Normandy. The Bishop obeyed by having a crypt excavated and a chapel erected on the mountain's summit, thus transforming the Mont Tombe (a mysterious spot once used as a cemetery or a druidic place of worship) into the Mont-Saint- Michel, light of Christendom.

Many pilgrims came here during the following years, attracted by the Mont�s rapidly spreading reputation, and some of them even gave generously to contribute to its growth. But it is Richard 1, Duke of Normandy, who really gave the Mont-Saint-Michel its credentials when he sent to the sanctuary, about 30 Benedictine monks to attend to the task of making it into a temple of prayer worthy of the name.

From this moment on, the Mont-Saint-Michel became one of the most imposing monuments dedicated to the glory of God. In 1017, Richard II undertook to rebuild the chapel, by then deemed too modest. From 1212 to 1228, following a fire that had destroyed almost all of the site, Philippe August helped rebuild the church and add two adjacent buildings to accommodate the monks. Finally, during the XVth century, a new choir was added to the Romanesque nave of the church; all of which conferred on the Mont-Saint-Michel the stature of an immense temple defying time and the elements - a powerful symbol of the presence of the divine within man.


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