Photographer's Note

The little chapel on the summit of Mont St-Michel is nothing like the great monastic structure on the famous island of the same name on the northern coast of Brittany. Located in western Brittany, in Finisterre, between Quimper and Morlaix, the ancient volcano is one of the highest points in Brittany, at 390 metres, and commands a fine view (if you are lucky enough to be there on a clear day) of the swamp of Ellez Yeun, the Saint-Michel Reservoir, the chain of other mountains and - so some say - the steeples of the churches in Saint-Pol-de-Léon just south of Roscoff on the northern coast! In ancient pre-Christian times the mountain was called Mont Kronan, after the god of life-cycles worshipped by local Druids.

The small, humble chapel was built in 1672, and dedicated to Saint Michel the Archangel, who protects against the dragon - this must have been the volcano! It became derelict after the French Revolution, but was restored in 1820. During World War 2, the German occupying forces built a large radio-navigation structure on the summit to assist bomber crews.

The chapel stands completely empty and is never used for religious purposes, but the clean, bare interior and good coat of red paint on the door suggests regular maintenance is still carried out; I wonder if sometimes a vagrant soul or two doesn't stop there for the night. Or if some modern Druids don't carry out ancient ceremonies.

Any members who enjoy using map references can see the form of the chapel clearly, by clicking on the link.

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Additional Photos by Andrew McRae (macondo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2997 W: 101 N: 5253] (20449)
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