A must-see

article | Reading time3 min

The cloister, between sky and sea

Let yourself be dazzled by the refined decorations of the cloister, a real highlight of the visit of the abbey.

The wonder of the "Merveille

A gothic masterpiece

A marvel within the "Merveille", the cloister offers a timeless experience, between sky and sea. The Merveille is a group of Gothic buildings, built on the north side of the rock, composed of three levels, a magnificent testimony to the know-how of the 13th century builders.

The opening of the cloister is the ideal place to take advantage of the inescapable point of view which opens on the bay and the polders. From this astonishing opening, you can also observe the beginnings of the foundations of the third block that was originally intended to complete the building of the Wonder: for example, a chapter house was to be built in the extension of the cloister.

Galerie du cloître de l'abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel.

Thomas Thibaut - Centre des monuments nationaux

Exceptional details

Take advantage of your stroll through the gallery to admire the many architectural details and the fine sculptural work.

The cloister is trapezoidal in shape and consists of a garden and a covered gallery that runs around it. The garden is separated by an original colonnade, composed of 137 columns arranged in staggered rows and forming tripods, which support the vault and the roof of the cloister gallery.

The elements that make up the cloister were made with materials from the region, such as Caen stone, but also from more distant lands, such as Purbeck marble...

Détail d'un écoinçon du cloître. Motifs végétaux et petite chouette.

Thomas Thibaut - Centre des monuments nationaux

A suspended garden between sky and sea

For a few minutes, put yourself in the shoes of a monk to understand the importance of this space in monastic life.

Located at the top of the mountain and the building of the Wonder, the cloister allowed the monks to find themselves in a suspended space conducive to meditation, and thus to be closer to God, through the presence of its garden open to the sky.

It was also used, as it is today, as a space for circulation between the abbey church and the refectory, and other spaces of the abbey.

Jardin du cloître de l'abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel.

Thomas Thibaut - Centre des monuments nationaux

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