Holy site, place of memory or art object? : Some considerations on Mont Saint-Michel in the '(très) longue durée' (708?–2017)

Variant title
Posvátné místo, místo paměti nebo umělecký předmět? : Několik úvah o Mont Saint-Michel v "(très) longue durée" (708?–2017)
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. vol. 66, iss. 2, pp. 118-133
  • ISSN
    1211-7390 (print)
    2336-4467 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
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For more than one thousand years, Mont Saint-Michel has been a magnetic place: pilgrims and tourists travel for days in order to reach this place. The meaning of this tidal island has changed many times – from a holy place, to a sacred space, then becoming a monument of French national identity, and finally a Mecca of consumerist tourism. How can we understand this exceptional 'longue durée' success? One could think of it as a place of memory re-appropriated by each generation – but is that sufficient? Thanks to written records through the centuries, it is possible to confirm that the fascination with this place has always involved a combination of nature and culture. This harmonic interaction has always been the result of a true artistic conception of the place updated through the centuries. In this sense, our answer is unequivocal: Mont Saint-Michel is an art object that comprises natural, monumental, and performative elements within itself.
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