5/19/2008 冒險第九天: 聖米歇爾山 (Adventure 9th day: Mountain Saint Michel)

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Today I went all the way from Le Havre to Le Mont Saint Michel~
This is where Le Mont Saint Michel locates:  (English: Mountain Saint Michel) (聖米歇爾山)
Mountain Saint Michel is a small piece of land connected to mainland France with a narrow natural land bridge, which is flooded during high tide and revealed during low tide.
Mountain Saint Michel was a stronghold for Romano-Breton, a specific group of Celtics, during 6th and 7th century. Celtic legend had it as a resting land for souls wandering on the sea. In year 708, Bishop Aubert was instructed 3 times in the dream by archangel, Michel, to build a monastery on Mountain Saint Michel–a.k.a the name, Mountain Saint Michel.
In year 966, Duke of Normandy, William I, established “The Benedictines” in the abbey. After several years of fortification and expansion, together with its natural advantages, it was unable to be seized under several assaults and survived Hundred Years War in 15th century. During the French Revolution, Mountain Saint Michel was attacked by the riot and the abbey was converted to a prison; until year 1874, Mountain Saint Michel was declared historical monument by the French government. 
If you see a satellite image, you’ll know that the land on the right of the picture is Normandy province, and the land on the left is Brittany. Originally, Mountain Saint Michel was connected to the mainland by a small land bridge, and Mountain Saint Michel became an islet during high tide. However, a “road” was built and elevated the land bridge so it would not be totally independent from the mainland anymore. 
(這樣去玩的人不用怕在漲潮時要划船出來了, 不過我聽說這條人工的路以後還是要拆掉, 回歸自然)
When I drove closer to the Mountain Saint Michel, I saw it stood mystically in the green meadow; is it a mirage, or is it real?

The road in the front has been elevated and served as parking areas.

The warning sign shows the times of high tide and indicates the partial parking area that can “disappear” during the high tide. There are 2 times of high tide in 24 hours.
Going into Mountain Saint Michel:

Narrow passage with shops, restaurants, and hotels on 2 sides.  
The abbey seen from below:
The layout of Moutain Saint Michel:
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4 stages of building the monastery over time: 

In the court yard of the abbey:
The swampy areas surrounding Mont Saint Michel: 
Inside the cathedrale:
說實在修道院裡面的路看起來錯綜複雜又陰森森的, 沒跟著路標走一定迷路, 不知道以前的修道士怎麼過的~

I didn’t stay until dark to see Mountain Saint Michel in the dark (at about 10pm), because it turned quite cold and windy when the sun was setting. I left after I had dinner here. 五月的諾曼第晚上有夠冷!

By the way, Mountain Saint Michel is the blueprint for “Minas Tirith” in the movie–“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ” directed by Peter Jackson.