By sarah

You may not know it but there are other Mont Saint-Michel not so far from us. Each having its own history and its legends, for some they look very much like our French Mont Saint-Michel.

In Alsace

The Mont Saint-Michel in Alsace is located on the heights of Saint Jean Saverne at 437m altitude. On the latter, we find the chapel Saint Michael, the circle of witches (or hexenkreis), the cave of fairies (or witches, or hexentiöle). Seen from above, you will have a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding villages. If you want to stroll there, go to the parking lot of the cross of Lagenthal.

This Mount also has its share of legends. Indeed, it is said that sacrifices were made there. We filled the witches’ ring with blood to remind the solar disk of its rise and fall. The circle would be a place of ancient gatherings of witches. From this place, they flew on their brooms towards the bastberg. And there they celebrated the Sabbath.

Mount Saint Michael

Mount Saint Michael in the United Kingdom
Mount Saint Michael in the United Kingdom

The Mount Saint Michael is located in the United Kingdom, in the extreme south of the Cornwall peninsula. An island, but also a castle, a port, a village. When the tide is low, you can walk to it by a paved road that appears when the sea retreats. It was once a path used by giants and pilgrims. However, at high tide, you can take a boat from the piers to Mount Saint Michael and back.

Legend has it that in 495, fishermen saw the Archangel Michael riding a granite rock emerging from the sea. A Celtic monastery is said to have developed here from the 8th century onwards. The island then became a place of pilgrimage. More than two hundred thousand years ago, Mount Saint Michael was a place for the tin trade, with Phoenician ships exporting the merchandise throughout Europe.

Today, around 30 people still live on the island, using their know-how to keep in condition this English marvel.

In Italy

Monte Sant’ Angelo

Monte Sant’ Angelo is an Italian municipality built around the sanctuary of the Archangel Michael, from which it takes its name. It lies at an altitude of 800m on the east coast of the Gargano massif in Puglia.

According to legend, the Archangel Michael appeared to Bishop Lorenzo Maiorano on May 8, 490, ordering him to build a Christian place of worship. This was done in a cave beneath the town, in order to dispel the pagan beliefs that were still prevalent. The village grew up around this cult. Does this story sound familiar?

Monte Sant’Angelo later became the arrival point for pilgrims travelling from Mont Saint-Michel in France.

Monte Sant' Angelo in Italy
Monte Sant’ Angelo in Italy

Sacra di San Michele

Sacra di San Michele (or Abbey of Saint Michael of the Cluse) is an abbey built between 983 and 987 on the summit of Mount Pirchiriano, 40 kilometers from Turin. Dedicated to the cult of the Archangel Michael, it is part of a pilgrimage itinerary of over 2,000 kilometers. The route links Mont Saint-Michel in France to Monte Sant’Angelo. The building is also associated with author Umberto Eco and his medieval novel “In The Name of the Rose”.

It’s an imposing building today, originally built around a small 3-hearted church dedicated to the Archangel Saint Michael. It was built between the 11th and 14th centuries. In 1836, the former monastery resumed its religious functions with the arrival of the community of Rosminian fathers, who still live here today.

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