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Itinéraire culturel du Conseil de l´Europe
Conseil de l´Europe

Mariette de la Pagerie, carte du dicèse de Coutances, 1689

(© AD Manche)

Hôpital Saint-Maur d’Hocquigny, XIIIe siècle (détruit en 1929)

(© AD Manche)

Mont et pèlerins

Illustration

Its Method

Identifying ancient routes

The association carries out major historical research into pilgrimage to Mont-Saint-Michel and into the cult of St Michael. It draws on any sources likely to produce information on ancient roads and the routes taken by pilgrims (travellers’ accounts, ordnance surveys and old manuscripts and maps…)

To assure the quality of this work a research committee comprising academics, archivists and other European specialists support the association by offering knowledge and advice.
The association also holds records, available for study on demand, comprising books, prints and photographs.

Heritage archives

The association keeps records of historical references and the heritage linked to pilgrimage and the cult of St Michael so as to create a database.
In this way it can help in the preservation and restoration of heritage features along these routes (bridges, crosses, springs, churches, chapels…) .
It also has a photographic library to pool all such identified features.

Rehabilitating the paths

Opening up these routes is achieved in collaboration with the organisations and bodies concerned with the areas along the trail (local and regional councils, park authorities, tourist boards…)
Bearing in mind all the inevitable developments over the centuries and the creation of new road infrastructures, the association recognises and adopts continuous routes which accept present-day realities, preferring to choose country paths or minor roads.

Way-marking and way maintenance

The St Michael’s Ways consist of more than 2,000 km of paths (1,250 miles). The association’s own team and its volunteer observers regularly check on the quality of the way-marking.
Maintenance of the paths is achieved in collaboration with the relevant local authorities and organisations.

Books and publications

The association publishes guides and distributes leaflets to improve knowledge of these routes and of the heritage along the way. It also provides practical printed information for pilgrims and walkers such as lists of accommodation and the Miquelot booklet which can be stamped at each stage along the route.

Events

The association organises regular events along the St Michael’s Ways, open to everyone (exhibitions, tours, walks…). It takes part in talks and historical conferences on the theme of pilgrimages to Mont-Saint-Michel. Every two years a Spring gathering takes place on the Spring St Michaels Day (8 May) where academics and researchers gather to present the fruits of their work. In September each year the association organises an annual walk (8-10 days) on one of the St Michael’s Ways. On offer: several kilometres of paths to explore and visits to some little-known heritage.

Promoting tourism

The association collaborates with tourist boards, local councils and those offering accommodation to ensure support for travellers on their trip along the St Michael’s Ways. It forms partnership agreements with towns at staging-posts along the route to help walkers with accommodation and directions.

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