Let’s Go! Part VI

Now that we have rested a bit, let’s continue on.  If you have read Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, you will enjoy this visit to Mont-St-Michel as it brings to mind the cathedral in that book.   It is a place heavy with spirituality and full of history.

Mont. St Michelle, its spire reaching to the sky, sits majestically high atop a hill on a rocky island just off the coast of France.

To get to the top requires walking many steps, so take a deep breath and let’s go.

The abbey’s fascinating history dates back to the eighth century. Structurally, it is layer upon layer of halls and chapels built over the centuries and each addition indicates art and technique at the forefront of its time.

It is easy to see how architectural elements changed over the centuries as work continued. 

Fascinating is how the construction was done.  See this wheel?  It was used to hoist large, heavy blocks of limestone.As in Follett’s book, men turned it by walking the interior space.  Think of a hamster going round and round on its wheel and you have the image.  You have to be amazed by the procedures used to build magnificent structures that have endured through the centuries.

Starting from the top down, it is easy to trace the sequence of Mont-St-Michel’s development.  At the higher elevations, the structure is more refined while the lower level with its massive columns  serves as sturdy support for centuries of change.

From its beginnings Mont-St-Michel has been a Benedictine abbey though today it is inhabited by only eight monks.  Were it not for the thousands of visitors who come, it would be a lonely place.

At the base of the abbey is a small town, quite charming and with an abundance of places to eat and shop, that is if you have the energy after exploring Mont-St-Michel for several hours.  

Thank you for traveling along.  I hope you enjoyed the journey.  It is shared at Pink Saturday and Seasonal Sundays.

20 thoughts on “Let’s Go! Part VI

  1. I read Pillars~ how wonderful to see MSM in person! It’s fascinating to me the feat of engineering required~ it boggles my mind! Gorgeous!

  2. I have read Pillars of the Earth~ it is one of my favorites. This fabulous church is also on my “must see” list. Thank you for sharing.

  3. wonderful place. thanks for sharing.

  4. shirley@housepitalitydesigns May 6, 2012 — 8:09 pm

    Oh my, the architecture is beyond magnificent!!!

  5. Wow! I loved the gorgeous architecture… the columns and the exterior wall stone facade is so beautiful! The purpose of that giant wheel is fascinating and I love how you took the pictures of that wheel… appears to be in excellent condition considering how old it is.Thanks for sharing this wonderfully inspiring post and for visiting me. I enjoyed the pleasure of your company. Have a great week ahead!Hugs,Poppy

  6. What a wonderful post! I’ve been to France but I don’t think I’ve been here I would have remembered.
    Hope you find your Pyrex you’re looking for. I remember those double boilers.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  7. Many Dutch castles still have wheels in the attics and trapdoors in the floors on each level below them… they were not only used to lift masonry but also later, furniture, weapons into the upper floors and towers etc. The engineering involved in these is extraordinary… especially considering the technologies available at the time.

    We have people to visit (fairly) close to Mont-St-Michel, and it had kind of been on the to-do list for last year but my accident put paid to that, it will have to wait until I loose the crutches and can do steps better.

    I’ve heard so many funny stories about the tide here and people/cars etc caught out because it comes in so fast.

    We’ve been guilty of passing Mont-St-Michel by on our way to other places further down the coast, but it’s always been a place I’ve wanted to stop in at.
    The photo with the multiple arches.. I could look at it all day long!!!!

    1. When it is possible, do stop for a look. It is a fascinating place, especially in view of the fact that construction occurred over several centuries.

      1. Now that I’ve seen your photos, it’s moving up the travel priority list for as soon as I’m mobile enough …(that will probably be next year at the earliest as we already have plans for this summer since we will have an overseas guest to stay)

  8. Billie Keirstead May 6, 2012 — 9:00 am

    Also try to interpret what I meant to type but my iPad had other ideas!

  9. Billie Keirstead May 6, 2012 — 8:53 am

    Did you go recently? There is a wonderful movie filmed there. Mindwalk. 3 characters played by Sam Waterson, Liv Ulman, and John Heard. The three characters discuss the physics of the universe as they walk around the property. Most of the concepts were way over my head but Dir some reasoning never forget about that movie and it frequently resurfaces in my life. See if you can rent it.

    1. Yes, we were just there, and it was a fascinating place to explore. Thanks for the movie tip. I’ll look for it.

  10. Oh what a wonderful way for me to start my day! This post brings back wonderful memories. Jim and I drove here from Paris and spent the night. What an amazing place. Your photos are lovely and thanks so much for sharing this special destination!
    Have a wonderful Sunday.

  11. Thanks for taking us along. It’s been many years since I visited Mont St. Michel.

  12. Love the architecture!

    Happy pink Saturday, Happy Derby Day and ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

    Please stop by and enter my celebrate spring/moms giveaway.

  13. Looks like my kind of place! Oh, the places you go!

  14. I love how the wheel is still in place. A wonderful trip!

    1. When I heard how the wheel was used, I was astonished!

  15. Great post and pictures! Been to this place many years back and really had a great time. 😉

  16. Absolutely gorgeous!

    My Pink, have a great weekend!

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