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Mont Saint Michel in popular culture

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Mont Saint-Michel in popular culture

The island of Mont Saint-Michel is featured in a range of popular media. Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island 247 acres (100 ha) in size, and is a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre (just over half a mile) off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches.


In the arts

  • Mont Saint-Michel is depicted in the medieval Bayeux Tapestry. Frames 16 through 18 depicts the 1065 military campaign conducted by William, Duke of Normandy and his then vassal Harold, Earl of Wessex against Conan II, Duke of Brittany. Places depicted during the campaign include Mont Saint-Michel, Rennes, and Dinan. In frame 17 Harold is depicted saving several of William's soldiers from the quicksands surrounding Mont Saint-Michel. William later rewards Harold for his bravery. The following year William and Harold would face each other in battle contesting the English throne at Hastings.
  • In literature

  • In 1832, the fiction La Fée aux miettes by Charles Nodier mentions the quick sands in the Mont-Saint-Michel bay.
  • In 1850, the historical fiction La Fée des grèves by Paul Féval, which takes place around 1450, mentions legends from Mont Saint-Michel and the Mont Tombelaine.
  • In 1887, in the fiction "Le Horla" by Guy de Maupassant, the main character ends his therapeutic journey at Mont Saint-Michel.
  • In 1894, a short story "Un Viage au Mont St. Michet" by Philippe Le Sueur Mourant was published. This was later translated by Thomas Alfred Grut and published in 1929 as "Un Viâge au Mont Saint Michel".
  • In 1904, the American intellectual Henry Adams privately published Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres celebrating the unity of medieval society, especially as represented in the great cathedrals of France. It was released publicly in 1913.
  • In 1942, Helen MacInnes used Mont Saint-Michel as the location for a key section in her spy novel Cross Channel, set in France just after the Bordeaux Armistice of June 1940. The novel was subsequently renamed as Assignment In Brittany, after a film called Assignment In Brittany was made, based on the novel, in 1943 (see movie section below).
  • In 1967, in The Chronicles of Amber, Roger Zelazny his cité d'Ambre was inspired by Mont Saint-Michel.
  • In 1978, Laurent de Brunhoff introduced “Mont Saint-Georges” into his children's book Babar's Mystery, based on Mont Saint-Michel.
  • In 1984, the French ministry of culture published a book by François Rouillay, where someone could reenact the 1000 years of Mont Saint-Michel history and architecture, with a foreword by Françoise Chandernagor.
  • In 1995, Mont Saint-Michel (called Ynys Trebes) is the capital of the British Kingdom of Benoic in the Arthurian historical fantasy The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell.
  • In 2004, the fiction La Promesse de l'ange by Frédéric Lenoir and Violette Cabesos takes place mostly in Mont Saint-Michel.
  • In 2005, the thriller Le Sang du temps by Maxime Chattam takes place in Mont Saint-Michel in 2005 and in 1920s Egypt.
  • In 2011, the science-fiction book L'Ere du Vent by Pierre Bameul has Mont Saint-Michel as the new Vatican location in a post-apocalypse world.
  • In music

  • French composer Claude Debussy frequented the island and possibly drew inspiration from not only the legend of the mythical city of Ys, but also Mont Saint-Michel's cathedral for his piano prelude La Cathedrale Engloutie.
  • In 1996, one of the songs from the Voyager album by Mike Oldfield is dedicated to Mont Saint-Michel.
  • In 1998, French composer Patrick Broguière published under the title Mont Saint-Michel a progressive rock concept album about Mont Saint-Michel legends.
  • In 1999, Brittany harp musician Kirjuhel published the album Echo of Mont-Saint-Michel.
  • In 2001, Aphex Twin, from Cornwall, published his electronic music album Drukqs, whose title Mt Saint Michel + St Michaels Mount is inspired by both Mont Saint-Michel and St Michael's Mount, in Cornwall.
  • In 2003, the French group Oldelaf et Monsieur D published the song Le Mont St-Michel in their album Chansons Cons.
  • In movies

  • 1943, Assignment In Brittany based on the novel by Helen MacInnes which uses Mont Saint-Michel as the location for a key section. However the film does not directly refer to Mont Saint-Michel and there is no overt attempt to recreate Mont Saint-Michel using studio sets; it would not have been possible to film an Allied propaganda war film on location in German-occupied Mont Saint-Michel in 1943 (see literature section above).
  • 1950 : The Elusive Pimpernel by Powell and Pressburger.
  • 1983 : Pauline at the Beach d'Éric Rohmer
  • 1985 : IMAX film Chronos
  • 1991 : Mindwalk
  • 1998 : Armageddon by Michael Bay
  • 2003 : Mont Saint-Michel was the inspiration for the design of Minas Tirith in the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
  • 2004 : Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers
  • 2013 : To the Wonder, by Terrence Malick, features many scenes set on Mont Saint-Michel.
  • In video games

  • Renaissance Mont Saint-Michel is a playable multiplayer map in the video game Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (2010), and Assassin's Creed Revelations (2011) by Ubisoft Montréal.
  • Contemporary Mont Saint-Michel is displayed in the game Onimusha 3: Demon Siege (2004) by Capcom.
  • Mont Saint-Michel and its history of flooding and fatalities inspired the lost city of New Londo in the video game Dark Souls (2012) by From Software.
  • The exterior of Mont Saint-Michel served as the inspiration for Dracula's castle in Castlevania (Nintendo 64) (1998,1999) and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (1999)
  • Mont Saint-Michel is one of the playable locations in the "Country of the Musketeers" level in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (2012).
  • The Tower of mastery in Pokémon X and Y is based off of Mont Saint-Michel
  • In sports

  • 2013 : Mont Saint-Michel was the end point of stage 11 of the Tour de France.
  • 2016 : Mont Saint-Michel was the starting point of stage 1 of the Tour de France.
  • Famous people

  • Aubert of Avranches
  • Robert of Thorigny, abbot
  • Guillaume de Saint Pair, monk from the Abbey, author of the Roman du Mont-Saint-Michel
  • Duc of Chartres (futur Louis-Philippe I), came to destroy the « cage de fer »
  • Mathurin Bruneau, shoemaker, scammer and fake Louis XVII, prisoner at the Mont in 1821–1822
  • Louis Auguste Blanqui, political prisoner
  • Armand Barbès, political prisoner
  • Monseigneur Bravard, involved in the restoration of the Abbey
  • La Mère Poulard, restaurant owner
  • Émile Couillard, writer, monk and historian
  • References

    Mont Saint-Michel in popular culture Wikipedia

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