A waiting list of almost 790 years for a facelift costing over 2.6 million euros … Was it worth the wait and the price tag? Absolutely! The cloister at Mont St Michel in Normandy was completed in 1228 and a year-long renovation project throughout 2017 has just ended. The photos in the link below show the extent of the restoration work which has included lowering the floors by 15cm, cleaning the wooden vaulted ceilings, the stone work and spandrels above the columns. The spandrels are intricately and beautifully decorated with a botanical theme – a painstaking job.
Traditionally cloisters are built at the centre of the abbey with all the monastic buildings leading off it. However, Mont St Michel’s cloister was built on top of other buildings as a place of prayer for the monks. It’s is accessed via a small courtyard which leads from the abbey church and then leads to the refectory. The cloister has remained open throughout the work except when materials have been delivered by helicopter. The garden will be planted in spring 2018 to finally complete the restoration project. Despite the numerous visitors that pass through here every year the cloister retains a sense of peace and tranquility – a nod to its original purpose of prayer and reflection.
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