This island looks as if it is floating on the horizon. The abbey soars above a tiny village with one main street. Monks built this church on this rock to be as close to heaven as possible. The pre-Romanesque church was built before the year one thousand. In the 15th century, the Gothic Flamboyant chancel replaced the Romanesque chancel of the abbey church. Work continued up until the 18th century to build the abbey living quarters which make up the south front of the abbey. After being used as a prison during the Revolution and the Second Empire, the abbey was turned over to the Historic Monuments department in 1874, and since that date has been open to the public all year round.
You enter through the Bavole Gate, built by Gabriel du Puy in 1590.
Surrounded by the rock, the abbey provides a better insight into religious life down through 1,000 years of architecture. Certain buildings are reserved for the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem who ensure that prayers are being said at all times within the abbey.
Starting in 1922, Christian worship was again practiced in the abbey. In 1966 with the celebration of the abbey’s first millennium, a few Benedictine monasteries sent monks to spend the summer there. At the end of summer a few stayed. Since 2001, the Benedictine monks have been replaced by some from the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem, originally from Saint-Gervais’ Church in Paris.
In side the walls of Mont-Saint Michel.