Mont St Michel, France
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Le Mont-Saint-Michel (English: Saint Michael’s Mount) is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy,France. It is located approximately one kilometre off the country’s north coast, at the mouth of theCouesnon River nearAvranches. The population of the island is 41.
Before the construction of the first monastic establishment in the 8th century, the island was called “monte tombe”. According to legend, St. Michael the Archangel 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 St. Michael burned a hole in the bishop’s skull with his finger.
The mount gained strategic significance in 933 when William “Long Sword”, William I, 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 due to 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.
When Louis XI of France founded the Order of Saint Michael in 1496 he intended that the abbey church of Mont Saint-Michel be the chapel for the order, but because of its great distance from Paris his intention could never be realized.
Derfel joined Arthur’s spearmen and after several years became one of Arthur’s warlords and acquired the surname of Cadarn, which means “powerful”. Derfel took his troops to Brittany in place of Arthur in order to help fortify King Ban at Ynys Trebes (Mont St. Michel) against the Franks. Derfel met Lancelot and Galahad, and found Merlin in Ynys Trebes. When the city was taken by the Franks, Galahad returned to Dumnonia with Derfel and Merlin on Merlin’s boat.