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Seminarian in France- Day 3

Today we ventured to the small island of St Michael or in French Mont San Michel. It is probably one of the most iconic images of France after the Efle Tower. Originally settled by hermits, it was built into a monestry in 708 after the local bishop had a dream where St Michael the came to him and asked him to build an Abby on the Island after the time of asking and the bishop not responding St Michael left a burn mark in the bishops head as reminder when he woke up it really was the angel. The island has had a few roles over the last millennium, from a Benedictine monastery to a strategic military post in the 100 year war with Britain, to a prison used by Nepolion during his reign. It now has a benidictine order living in and it is a functional church again.

Long before we arrived at the Mont we could see it looming over the tidal plans like it was something out of a si-fi movie.

The mile long hike over to Mont St Michel with all the other pilgrims, and tourists.

I might be smiling but the wind chill was very fresh and it was the first time the sun had come out for the day. It may be spring in Rome but it still feels very much like a West Coast winter on the EP in Normandy.

At high tide the island can be fully surrounded by water, and crossing may not have been fully possible at all times until recently when the had a bridge built and even a bus service to get you there and back.

Inside there is a bustling little town with restaurants, hotels, gift shops and even a post office.

The church where we celebrated mass, it is not attached to the main Abby.

Before we could get to elaborate our mass we had to wait for the group of French preist, and seminarians to fisnish which was well worth the wait. With Gregorian chants and plenty of incense it was a very captivating experience.

After we celebrated our mass and had lunch in local restaurant, it was onward and up ward to the top Abby.

On top of the main spire on the church that is the highest piomt on the Mont is a golden statue of St Michael.

The three musketeers, well there was four in the movie.

Inside the main chapel, it was very austere, but beautiful. The windows were clear to let as much light in as possible in the Normandy climate.

Apparantly this was the guest hall just below the main chapel. Check out those fire places.

Windows in the dining hall, I'm not sure how many people used to live here at its peak but it must have been in the hundreds.

There is even a cloister and garden.

A huge wheel that was used as a pulley system to hoist supplies up to the top of the Mont. I think it works like a hamster wheel.

The columb room underneath the top chapel, about half a dozen massive columns built to support the main spire structure.

As the day slipped by it was time to head back across the flood plain, unfortunately for us the unstable weather of the Normandy brought with it strong hails storm that pelted us on our walk back to our car and we were thourghly drenched. At lest we will remember the Mont for few years to come.

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