Mont-Saint-Michel

A new maritime environment

For its 100th edition, the Tour de France could hardly avoid this jewel of France's heritage, yet had the race come to Mont St Michel one year later, it would not have been possible to stage a time trial on the spot. From next year, huge works will be undertaken to restore the site to its maritime vocation. In the course of time, the sea has moved further back while the land took over and a 15-hectare car park at the foot of the ramparts was scarring this extraordinary setting. To preserve the site for future generations, Europe, France and local authorities decided to work hand in hand and with a long-term perspective. As from 2014, new accesses will be built to link the rock to the mainland. A new levee will be built, prolonged by a causeway while the last kilometre will be turned into a ford. This way Mont St Michel will be an island again and the time will come to demolish the 19th century road.

Web sites

Mont Saint Michel - ©Site du Mont Saint-MichelMont Saint-Michel - ©Julien MauveMont Saint-Michel bay - ©D.SacherMont Saint-Michel bay - ©D.Hulin instructeur ULM AvranchesWalk towards the Mont Saint-Michel - ©David DaguierMont Saint-Michel - ©David Daguier
One previous stage
Population: 45
Commune of Manche (50)
Specialities: omelette de la mère Poulard, lamb, mussels.
Economy: tourism
Sport: marathon of the Mont St Michel bay (May)
Celebrities: Aubert d'Avranches, Annette Poulard.
Festival: Between sea and sky (July)
Labels: Unesco World heritage.

Timeline

  • 709

    Aubert, bishop of Avranches, built a church on October 16, 709, acting upon request from Archangel Michael, “leader of the celestial militia”.
  • 966

    The Duke of Normandy asks a community of Benedictine monks to settle on the site. A pre-Romanesque church is built.
  • 11th century

    A Romanesque abbatial church is built upon a network of crypts as well as a convent.
  • 12th century

    The monk buildings are extended to the west and south.
  • 13th century

    A donation by French King Philip IIAugustus after his conquest of Normandy is used to built the Gothic buildings of La Merveille – two three-storey buildings topped by a cloister and a refectory.
  • 14th and 15th centuries

    The Hundred Years War makes it necessary to protect the abbey by a series of fortifications allowing the Mont St Mihcel to resist a 30-year siege. A village is created in the Middle-Ages on the south-east flank of the rock.
  • 1421

    The Romanesque choir collapses and is replaced by a Gothic choir in the end of the Middle Anges.
  • 1789

    An intellectual and spiritual shrine, Mont St Michel becomes with Rome and Compostella one of the greatest pilgrimages in the Middle-Ages. For nearly a thousand years; pilgrims follow the Heaven’s Way to place themselves under the protection of St Michael. The French Revolution turns the abbey into a prison.
  • 1874

    The abbey is handed to the service of Historic Monuments.
  • 1888

    The Mere Poulard pastry shop opens.
  • 1966

    Monks return to the Mont St Michel, exactly 1,000 years after the creation of the monastery.
  • 1979

    Mont Saint-Michel becomes a World Heritage site.
  • 2001

    The Brothers and Sisters of the Jerusalem Monastic Brotherhoods maintain a monastic presence on the site.
  • 2013

    Mont Saint-Michel receives more than three million visitors each year.
Mont Saint-Michel on an 18th cenutry map photographed by RhurtadonA Railway was built in the early 20th century to reach Mont St Michel – Old postcard published by ND, n°100 : - LE MONT-SAINT-MICHEL, South side seen from the dyke
One previous stage
Population: 45
Commune of Manche (50)
Specialities: omelette de la mère Poulard, lamb, mussels.
Economy: tourism
Sport: marathon of the Mont St Michel bay (May)
Celebrities: Aubert d'Avranches, Annette Poulard.
Festival: Between sea and sky (July)
Labels: Unesco World heritage.

Web sites

Mont-Saint-Michel and cycling

The most famous sea rock in France sees three million visitors each year but only one can claim to have won a Tour de France stage at Mont St Michel. His name is Johan Museeuw. It was in 1990 and it was the first big feat by the Belgian rider, who won his only other Tour stage the same year on the Champs-Elysees. World champion in 1996 and a three times winner of Paris-Roubaix, the Lion of Flanders also held the yellow jersey twice in 19913 and 1994.

Since this only stage finish, the peloton had several chances to have a glimpse at Mont St Michel, especially in the 2011 stage between Dinan and Lisieux.

Peloton in front of Mont Saint-Michel, stage Nantes/Mont Saint-Michel in Tour de France 1990 - ©Presse SportsLudwig Olaf & Museeuw Johan in stage Nantes/Mont Saint-Michel of Tour de France de 1990 – ©Presse Sports
One previous stage
Population: 45
Commune of Manche (50)
Specialities: omelette de la mère Poulard, lamb, mussels.
Economy: tourism
Sport: marathon of the Mont St Michel bay (May)
Celebrities: Aubert d'Avranches, Annette Poulard.
Festival: Between sea and sky (July)
Labels: Unesco World heritage.

Web sites

Mere Poulard

Born in 1852, Annette was in her twenties when the Mont St Michel reopened to the world after becoming a fearsome prison during the Rovolution. Annette married  the Mont St Michel baker, Victor Poulard, who would assist her for the rest of her life in her two passions, cooking and the Mont St Michel. Hospitality was a tradition on the site since the Middle Ages when villagers welcomed the pilgrims in inns where they were accommodated and catered for. Annette and Victor Poulard opened their own hostel in 1888 in the heart of the medieval city of La Merveille, to host pilgrims and gourmets from the whole world. Her talent and the 700 recipes she created in her long career earned her the honorary title of “Mère” (mother) as a tribute to her contribution to the reputation of French cuisine. Annette Poulard is famous the world over for her famous baked omelette. Mère Poulard remains today an institution of French gastronomy thanks to its varied, inventive and light cuisine combining tradition, simplicity and modernity.

Mont Saint-Michel, façade of mère Poulard - ©SemnozLa Mère Poulard in Mont-Saint-Michel - ©ugo3ugo32001The famous baked omelette of Mère Poulard.
One previous stage
Population: 45
Commune of Manche (50)
Specialities: omelette de la mère Poulard, lamb, mussels.
Economy: tourism
Sport: marathon of the Mont St Michel bay (May)
Celebrities: Aubert d'Avranches, Annette Poulard.
Festival: Between sea and sky (July)
Labels: Unesco World heritage.

Web sites

Jersey wearers after the stage 21

Classifications after the stage 21

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