France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Scriptorial d'Avranches, Normandy, France
This center houses hundreds of manuscripts from the 8th through the 15th centuries, including many from Mont St-Michel.

  St-Michel, Avranches
18th century wooden statue of




The Scriptorial d'Avranches combines ancient manuscripts and modern technology to explore the work of the monks, the creative process, and the preservation of ancient artifacts.

As the Scriptoral describes it: 30 minutes entre Le Mont et ses merveilles, 7 siècles entre le Scriptorium et le Scriptorial... "30 minutes between the Mont and its wonders, 7 centuries between the Scriptorium (writing room) and the Scriptorial...

The Scriptorial owns 205 medieval manuscripts, 200 from Mont St-Michel and 5 from Avranches. This collection allows scholars to better understand the lives and times of the monks of Mont St-Michel. Although mainly addressing questions of religious life and Christian faith, the manuscripts also show the open spirit and intellectural curiosity of the monks.

About 90 of the manuscripts are made available for public viewing. Because they are so fragile, only about 15 are on view at any one time, with the collection rotating regularly.

Manuscript, Avranches
Detail of a 13th century manuscript, Scriptorial d'Avranches.

In addition to the ancient manuscripts, Scriptorial exhibits also present the history of Avranches (including the intriguing question of the hole in Bishop Aubert's skull); background on why pilgrims came to Mont St-Michel; information on calligraphy, illumination techniques, paper making, and printing; a study of how books have evolved, from parchment to electronic publications; and temporary exhibitions on wide-ranging topics.

Note that explanations tend to be in French, but it is still fascinating to see the manuscripts and other exhibits.

Closed on Mondays. Hours vary with the season, so check before visiting.

Scriptorial d'Avranches
50 Place d'Estouteville
50300 Avranches, France
+33 (0)2 33 79 57 00

Hotels at Mont St-Michel

Mont St-Michel Restaurants

What to See & Do

About Avranches

Photos at Mont St-Michel

The Abbey of Mont St-Michel

Tourist Information

Transport to Mont St-Michel

About Normandy




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  Scriptorial d'Avranches, France

Above, The modern Scriptorial building, behind some much older walls in the old town of Avranches.





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