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MontstMichel.co.uk  2010

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The Old Town  

at Le Mont Saint Michel

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The Old Town

 

The Old Houses

         The old township of Mont Saint Michel comprised primarily of timber-framed buildings. Many of them have been torn down within the Belle Époque and substituted by way of much more comfortable buildings that nevertheless still respected the original designs. Some of the old timber framed buildings still remain.

The building of the Arches, built upon the corbels as though it was hugging to the ramparts, is exactly on the inside and facing the King’s Gate. It at one time it homed part of the garrison. Not really far off is the property of the Artichoke that took its name from the floret of its dormer windows and creates a bridge across the street. The Hotel of the Unicorn now homes a memorabilia store along with a creperie. It's the final example of the properties that at one time characterized Mont-Saint-Michel.

The property know as the home of Guesclin and his wife Tiphaine is definitely a good example of how some of the oldest stone buildings would have looked.The store named the White Ram (Mouton Blanc), right across from the inn of the same name, once housed the old township bakery.

 

 

The Start Of The tourist trade

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          Mere Poulard located at the start of the main street is actually the start of tourist trade. After the penitentiary had been closed, Annette Poulard was the earliest to take in tourists that came to view the abbey that had been opened up to the general public. This lady grew to become well-known for her delightful service as well as for the delicious omelet’s she whipped up within the blink of an eye for people who were in a rush. The streets of Mont Saint Michel are densely covered with inns, restaurants and sou­venir stores. Before the time of the tourist trade fishing was essential, After World War II, however, tourists’ dominated and no space was left for the fishermen or even the clam diggers.The overpowering advancement of tourists’ and the appeal for the history that provides lots of people to Mont Saint Michel every year caused any entrepreneur to open up a museum, hotel, restaurant or sou­venir shop. At the conclusion of the 19th Nineteenth century, the tourist trade way of life had also been taken advantage of by the ‘Tiphaine house’ and also the maritime museum.
 

Photo of the main street

Photo of an old timer framed house

Photo of the citizen’s guard house

Photo of the Parish Chapel

 

 

The Towns Fortifications

 

    The town went through its biggest period of enhancement throughout the 100 years War when 119 knights established themselves within the citadel and efficiently guarded it against the English. This was once the initial ramparts had been constructed and specific consideration had been evidently paid to the safeguarding of the town gateways. in order to enter, 3 effective fortified gateways needed to be passed.

 

The 1st of these, was the Outpost Avancee, this outpost wasn't put in until the Sixteenth century, to combat the improvements that had been developed in the field of artillery. It's guarded by the citizen’s guard-house, a little stone building roofed with slate that right now houses the Tourist Office. It leads right into a the 1st defensive area in which the ‘michelettes’, canons left behind by the English within the 100 years War, during the aborted assault of 1434, are exhibited.

 

The 2nd of the town gateways would be the Boulevard Gateway that takes its name from the defensive area arranged in front of the primary fortifications to protect them from artillery attacks. Regrettably the site has been destroyed when the hotel de la Mere Poulard was constructed in the ‘Belle Epoque’.

 

The 3rd is the King’s Gate Porte du Roi, certainly constructed for Robert Jolivet, abbot of Mont-Saint-Michel prior to it being passed to the English in 1420. It was preceded with a moat with a drawbridge, and sealed by a portcullis which is still in position}, though certainly rather rusted and no longer in operating order. Only one of the 2 towers which flanked the gateway remains to be seen. The other one has been ingested up by the hotel de la Mere Poulard. Strangely enough, while 2 openings existed on the outer side, 1 for the purpose of carts and the other for pedestrians, there's just one on the inside towards the town. On top of the cart gateway is a shield shaped emblem, displaying a coat of arms of the king, the monastery and the town. The defense stroll on the ramparts con¬tinues on the higher level. It may be gotten to by way of a little flight of stairs that runs across the wall right inside the gate, and precedes towards the abbey and the stairway the residents of the town call Le Monteaux. The King’s Gate took its name from the living quarters on the ground floor that have been destined for whoever guarded it in the name of the King of France. Nowadays it's the town office of Mont-Saint-Michel.

 

Photo of the Kings Gate

Photo of the 1st defensive area

 

 

 

The Parish Chapel

 

 

        Committed to St. Peter, the parish chapel of Mont-Saint-Michel replaced an old haven which could perhaps date prior to the introduction of the cult of St. Michael.

Constructed upon footings which probably date to the 11th century, the structure had been increased and also elevated in the 2nd half of the Fifteenth century. The odd 16th century addition is actually on a barrel vault constructed over a street.

 

      At the conclusion of the Nineteenth century, once the abbey was secularised, the chapel grew to become the aim of the pilgrimages. The refurbishment of the church devoted to the Archangel St. Michael which includes a sculpture of him in silver that was solemnly crowned within 1877, carries witness to the vigour of the cult of St. Michael in the circumstance of restored patriotism that came to be after the conflict of 1870. The numerous exotics put up on the walls are often of army origins, within homage to the patron saint of the military. The gonfalons provided by the brotherhoods of the loyal additionally demonstrate the popular personality of the pilgrimages.

 

           Every one of these items more or less overshadow the handful of leftover old elements, particularly the actual 13th Century baptismal fonts, the 15th Century sculpture of the Madonna and Child, yet another 16th Century sculpture of St. Anne as well as an 18th Century crucifix. Centre of parish lifestyle within Mont Saint Michel, the chapel appears adjacent to the little township cemetery. Mere Poulard is buried right here and the inscription on her burial place says, “Here rest Victor and Anne Poulard, faithful husband and wife and excellent innkeepers. May the Lord receive them as they have always received their visitors.”

 

Photo of  Archangel St. Michael sculpture