circacity

Mont Saint Michel

In Architecture, Surreal on June 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I paid a visit to a mystical place recently- Mont Saint Michel. It is rocky tidal island which is part of Normandy, France and is located approximately 1 km from the country’s north-western coast. I just loved the idea of an island (with a medieval castle no less) that is only accessible on a single path at certain times of the day. It is cut off from the rest of the world once the tide rises and it is surrounded by the sea.

When I arrived, it was breathtaking. It is everything you want a ancient castle on a lone island surrounded by water, to be. A little haunting, but yet idyllic and calm, the entire place is small and quaint. It used to be a monastery and once you get to the top of the tower, you can see why it is a place of meditation- boundless views of the sea and mist is the view from the top and it is so peaceful up there. Its location is so special, almost utopian in its manner of wanting to be away from everything else.

Fun facts that I’ve siphoned from wikipedia:

1. The 1985 IMAX film Chronos has several scenes of Mont-Saint-Michel and the surrounding tides advancing and retreating around it.

2. French composer Claude Debussy frequented the island and possibly drew inspiration from not only the legend of the mythical city of Ys, but also Mont-Saint-Michel’s cathedral for his piano prelude La Cathedrale Engloutie.

3. In 2001, Cornish electronic musician Aphex Twin included a track entitled “Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michaels Mount” on his double-album drukQs.

4. One of the Multiplayer Maps in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a replica of Mont Saint-Michel. (Exactly what I thought it seemed like when I arrived! Uncanny resemblance…) It also appears in the game as an encore.

5. In a 2004 Disney direct to DVD film called Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Mickey is locked away in Mont Saint-Michel and left to drown when the tide rises.

Here are some more beautiful pictures I found on the net:

I took some pictures of my own. Here it is from the mainland:

Here it is on the long walk up to the gate.

I noticed a small house at the edge of the island and thought it was the most charming thing.

Inside the monastery, there is a beautiful square garden which you can pace around.

Take a trip down there- it is definitely worth the visit: http://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/en/accueil.htm

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