Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

St Michel

St. Michel, MONT, an insulated granite rock of conical form off the department of La Manche in Normandy, 18 miles W.S.W. of Avranches. Its steep ascent from the surrounding sands to a height of 242 feet, where it terminates in a platform on which there are buildings, gives it a very picturesque appearance. A temple or fortress attributed to Druids existed here at a very early date, and in the 8th century a Benedictine monastery was erected on the spot where St. Michael had appeared in a vision. The castellated buildings of the abbey range in date from the 12th to the 16th century. At the foot of the mount there is a town of about 400 inhabitants. For considerable periods the buildings have been a State prison, and Cardinal Ballue and Armand Barbes (q.v.) were among those confined here.