The city of Avranches, a few kilometres away from Mount Saint-Michel, is historically linked to the Abbey. The legend says that Avranches' bishop Saint Aubert erected the first primitive oratory on the island in 709. It then became the prestigious abbey that we all know. After the French Revolution, Avranches became the keeper of the library of the Mont-Saint-Michel.
These two sites together are part of the "Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel", designated Unesco World Heritage of Humanity Site.
What is the department "Avranches Patrimoines"
The departement of the museums and heritage of Avranches showcases a rich and diverse local history, thanks to the work of three complimentary structures.
At the very heart of the ramparts of Avranches, the Scriptorial is the only French museum dedicated to a fabulous collection of medieval manuscripts. Inside a concrete building, the tour leads you to the room of the "Trésor", where you can admire a selection of the most beautiful pages from the 9th to 15th century. Masterpieces of the medieval art of sculpture, archaeological collections, sacred artefacts and works of art tell the story of the Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey since its legendary foundation. Calligraphy, illumination, binding... discover the skills of the copyist monks and unveil the secrets of the production of the first books, made of parchments and natural inks.
Established 180 years ago, the Art and History museum of Avranches introduces the visitors to different aspects of the city through the display of some local art, regional furniture pieces and outfits, as well as everyday items.
The Patrimonial Library keeps more than 39 000 books from de the 15th to the 20th century, as well as the medieval manuscripts of the Mount. Since 1850, it is a framework worthy of the diversity and the cultural importance of the collections.