Mont st. michel

"À la vitesse d'un cheval au galop."

Locations:  Le Mont Saint Michel, France
Photographers: Shelly and Terry Beck
October 2018

"As swiftly as a galloping horse." – Victor Hugo

Fun Facts

Le Mont Saint Michel, originally Mont Tombe, became known as Le Mont Saint Michel in the 8th century when St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, built an oratory on the islet after having a vision of the Archangel St. Michael. Per legend, Archangel Michael appeared to Aubert and instructed him to build a church. Aubert ignored Michael's request until the archangel used his finger and burnt a hole in Aubert's skull. Convinced, Aubert built and devoted to Michael the church on 16 Oct 709. In 966 a Benedictine abbey was built. The Island resisted sieges during the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) and French Wars of Religion (1562-1598). Only 7 monks were living in it when it was dissolved during the French Revolution (1787-1799). It became a state prison under Napoleon I, and remained a one until 1863. In 1874 it was classified as a historic monument and restored.

• The cloister was built as the expression of God in a human form. The cloister embodies the link between people and God. Its granite columns were sculpted to match the average size of a man. The distance between two pillars is exactly the same as the average width of a man.

• When the Mount was a prison, the authorities installed a wheel in the ossuary with which prisoners, walking inside the wheel, powered a kind of mine cart along a stone ladder inclined along the rock.

"Qvis vt Devs" roughly means "Who is God" and is the inscription on the shield of the Archangel Saint Michael.

"The Meeting of the Three Dead and the Three Alive" A fragment of a mural painting. It dates from the end of the 13th century.

• A bas-relief titled "Adam and Eve Hunts Paradise" Created from stone from Caen, it dates from the mid 16th century.