Mont Saint-Michel: guarding the gate of paradise
Famous Mont Saint-Michel, Granite Island off the coast of Normandy, and really stunned. At the top of the cliff at an altitude of almost 80 meters, the walls of an old abbey are growing. Circular sea. Only a two-kilometer dumble connects the island with the mainland. "Pyramid in the ocean" Named Mont Saint-Michel Incorrigible Romantic Victor Hugo.
On the approaches to the stone giant
What are we all sled: Paris, Paris! As if in all of France, besides him, and there is nothing more to see. Especially in the spring, when the right right time comes for excursions.
From Paris to the island the path is not free. And while behind the window floated dull landscapes, pictures of booklets were flashed in memory: sea, rocks, pointed spiers. Well, very cute and romantic. Then we even imagine could not, what beauty awaits us on the coast.
The day was nearing in the evening and some muddy paddle began to fall on the ground. And suddenly a tiny point appeared in this white marine. More Mig – and it turned into a pyramid of the right proportions. After a couple of kilometers on the horizon there were already distinguishable towers and spiers. From their clear outlines it was impossible to take a look. Mont Saint-Michel has grown, increased, until finally, not on us with a huge stone giant.
Legends invisible Roy
Many vintage legends are associated with this place. One of them tells how in 708 the Archbishop Obuka appeared in the dream Archangel Mikhail. The incredulous bishop did not return the sign, and then the Heavenly Messenger, having accepted, pinched his finger quite sharply. In memory of this miracle on the island and the first construction appeared – the Basilica of St. Michael. Those who do not believe this legend can check themselves: on the preserved skull of the holy guard really there is a noticeable dent!
Two centuries later, Duke of Normandy handed over Mont Saint-Michel Monastic Order of Benedäntsev. They founded the abbey and began endless construction. About those times to us today resembles ancient crypt called "Notre Dame underground".
Archangel at the tip of the spire
Saint Michael – in the Christian religion the figure is special. Not just archangel, but warrior and intercession. It was he who, according to the Apocalypse, should stand at the head of heavenly military in the last battle of goodness with evil. In addition, God laid a mission "Explorer souls": Archangel Mikhail must accompany the righteous to Heavenly Jerusalem, defend them from the demons on the way and help to open a heavy paradise gate.
Probably, therefore, Archangel Mikhail was dedicated to the temples standing high in the mountains. After all, it is in such places that the earth seems to be with the sky: it seems a little more and a hail of God will be visible. Mont Saint-Michel is no exception. No wonder on the tip of his spire, located at a mark of 155.5 meters above sea level, froze on guard Gold figurine Archangel with naked sword. So I want to believe that there, on a dizzying height, the road to heaven opens.
Refuge of the Saints or Vertol criminals?
But before reaching the transcendental heights, it is necessary to go through the thorny path of earthly climb. In Mont Saint-Michel, it begins at the Royal Gate. From them deep into the island leads the only street – Grande Rue. In the tiny, almost toy houses of the XV-XVI centuries, tightly adopted to each other on both sides of the street, today cafes, restaurants, hotels and numerous tents with postcards and souvenirs. Calling on the help of imagination, it is easy to imagine not modern tourists here, and the magnificent dressed medieval to know and wrapped in the rag of pilgrims. But constantly distracts the usual worldly turmoil: enthusiastic exclamations, clocks of cameras and barely audible buzz of camcorders, rustling of bills and flavored credit cards. Saint Vertips? No, everything is not so tragic: After all, the monastery of Mont Saint-Michel stopped his existence long before our times – back in 1790! A couple of decades later, in a strange irony, fate gathered the most revealed sinners and "Michel" For half a century, it became a place of imprisonment – a state prison. In the people, his metro nickname "Provincial Bastilia". And only in 1863 after a thorough restoration, he opened his royal gate again, this time – for tourists.
Only a point in the middle of the marine plain
Grande Rue rests on a wide staircase. It is here that the reference point begins for genuine climbing. Steps uncontrollably run up. From dizzying lift at some point intercepts breathing. God forbid, if suddenly, right under his feet, one of the bottomless open hatches, which first, and are now used to transport all sorts of goods!
From the western terrace overlooking the sea. Glosing a look on the boundless gray-blue surface, from time to time you get back to the islands-point. Islands there are a lot of circle, but there is no similar Mont Saint-Michel. To make sure that you need to continue to get acquainted with the island: first look into the church, then go to the endless labyrinth of monastic transitions, where music and silence, light and shadow be mixed.
With thought and thoughts about the eternal
The monastery of St. Michael was built long – from the XI century to the XVI century. Last names and faces, architectural styles were replaced, and he grew up and grew up, until he turned into a famous pilgrimage site, in the repository of sacred relics, in one of the wonders of the world – "Heavenly Jerusalem on Earth".
Now here is quiet and deserted. Forever froze in the sadness of the bell, do not hear the quiet steps in the Gallery of the Cross. But still in the inner kindergarten, a closed, degraded space with narrow boys and low fragile columns, grass and flowers grow. Nothing is unable to distract from philosophical reflections on the strugnure of human existence and meaning of being.
Myths, legends, ancient legends. The more you are here, the clever you realize: "Michel" obviously not inclined to give their secrets to the first oncoming. This monastery has never been conquered, withstanding one day even a 30-year siege. In history, he was forever remained an impregnable fortress. She "Pala" only. Before tourists. But did any of them understand the secret secret of Mont Saint-Michel? The secret of his longevity, durability, splendor and eternal attractiveness.