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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Amazing Mont Saint-Michel castle

Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a group home in Normandy, France. The Castle is located approximately one kilometer (just over half a mile) off the country’s north coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The population of the island is 41.

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. This connection has been compromised by several developments. Over the centuries, the coastal flats have been polderise to create pasture. Thus the distance between the shore and the south coast of Mont-Saint-Michel castle has decreased. The Couesnon River has been canalized, 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 around the mount.

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 monte 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.

Access by car : From Saint-Malo — exit n° 2, secondary roads D 155 and D 797 towards Pontorson, and then secondary road D 976. We can also see various monastic buildings around the castle that has been there from 13th Century. It has become a tourist spot and an average of four million visitors is seen every year.

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