cloister of the Benedictine Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey

The Benedictine Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, located on the rocky islet of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, was built starting in the 10th century and was dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel. The main feature of the complex is its close relationship with the sea, so much so that it seems to be almost floating during the tides.
The original structure from 966 was then incorporated in the following reconstructions, with the continuous influx of the faithful meaning that it had to be made bigger. In fact, the presence of various styles can be seen: from the Carolingian, to the Romanesque, to the Gothic. The cloister, the very heart of the abbey and the place where all the buildings, monastic rooms and the scriptorium could be reached, dates back to the 12th century. It consists of a gallery, resting on two rows of small columns, covered with a barrel vault. The marble columns feature carved plant decorations and, in the cornerstones, the scenes with the Incarnation, the Passion and the Resurrection of Christ were designed for reflection. In the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, one side of the cloister is open with an open gallery looking towards the sea, a unique feature probably also intended for the northern aisle of the Cefalù cloister in its original design.