LE MONT SAINT MICHEL is an island commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre off the northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couësnon River near Avranches. It is approximately 100 hectares in size. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century AD has been the seat of the monastery, from which it draws its name.
The Mount was one of the most important places of pilgrimage for the medieval occident. For nearly one thousand years men, women and children went there by roads called “paths to paradise” hoping for the assurance of eternity, given by the Archangel of judgement.
The Abbey was turned into a prison during the days of the French Revolution and Empire.
In 1966 a religious community moved back to what used to be the abbatial dwellings, perpetuating prayer and welcome, the original vocation of this place. Friars and sisters from “Les Fraternités Monastiques de Jerusalem” have been ensuring a spiritual presence since 2001.
Mont Saint Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. More than 3 million people visit it each year.
Le Mont captured my imagination many years ago. Even with 3 million visitors it is a place of tranquillity.