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Archive : Mont St. Michel & Caen

Mont St. Michel is one of those places where unique geography, weather conditions and man's architectural embellishments combine to produce a magical experience.

Mont St. Michel
The abbey of Mont St. Michel, originally called Mont Tombe, was founded after the Archangel Michael appeared to a bishop in 708. The abbey subsequently came to own St. Michael's Mount, in Cornwall.
The main gate In the village In the village
Entrance to the abbey The great spire of the abbey, surmounted by St. Michael The 'marvel'
Rainbow over the shadow of the island View from the island Mont St. Michel
A means to transport heavy loads A gothic water tank The chevet of the abbey church
Mont St. Michel
The baroque façade of the abbey church, added after the nave was demolished The flamboyant apse
Many of the buildings date from the 1200s, but the façade of the abbey church was replaced after part of the nave was demolished in 1776, just before the abbey was closed due to the French revolution. It was used as a prison until the monks returned in 1969.
The church looms over the cloister The cloister, situated on the roof over several storeys The refectory
The guest room The Knights' Hall The Knights' Hall (really the scriptorium)

While only a small fortified city on the northern coast of France, St. Malo gave us the Spanish name for the Falkland Islands and the explorer Jacques Cartier, who discovered Canada.

St. Malo
The city walls The city walls The castle
The cathedral Such a French scene One of the city gates
The cathedral Jacques Cartier, who discovered Canada (Quebec), was from St. Malo The cathedral
The Fort National

Going to Caen is something of a pilgrimage when so much of English institutional history traces its roots to the Norman conquest. Even our castles and cathedrals are built of Caen stone (e.g. Canterbury).

The Abbaye Aux Hommes The abbey's curious chevet
There is a legend saying that if the towers of the Abbaye Aux Hommes should fall, then so shall the Kingdom Of England (much like the ravens in the Tower Of London). Although Caen was heavily bombed during the second world war, the towers survived, along with England.
The nave The grave of William The Conqueror The apse
William The Conqueror
As every Englishman knows, William, Duke Of Normandy, invaded England in 1066, to become king and conqueror. He died in Rouen in 1087, and was buried in the Abbaye Aux Hommes, while his wife Matilda was buried in the Abbaye Aux Dames.
The Abbaye Aux Dames The Abbaye Aux Dames
The Palais De Justice Le Vaugueux Ruins of St. Étienne Le Vieux
The castle, built by William Strange statues St. George, in the castle
Timber houses View of the Abbaye Aux Hommes St. Sauveur
Carved walls St. Pierre St. Pierre
The Maison Des Quatrans St. Pierre