May 03, 2024

Pierre Auger, Le Mont Saint Michel en miniature / Mont Saint Michel in miniature

photos published here in agreement with the photographer
Francis David, as on the website Habitants-Paysagistes, LAM

Saint-Marcan is a small village with about 400 inhabitants, located in Brittany, France, about 12 km as the crow flies south-west of the well known French tourist spot Mont Saint-Michel, pictured above in a miniature version 

Because the area north and northeast of Sant-Marcan is virtually unbuilt and mainly includes pasture and agricultural areas, the Bay of St. Michel can be seen unobstructed from the slightly higher located village Saint-Marcan. 

And from some places in the village, on clear days Mont Saint-Michel itself can also be seen.

Life and works

The miniature version of the Mont Saint-Michel was created by Pierre Auger (1920-2001). the man in the red sweater in the top photo.
He  was a farmer, running a farm located at some distance from Saint-Marcan. However, he saw himself more as a handyman and builder of large and small creations. He loved working with pebbles, cement, slate and concrete blocks and built a stone (holiday) house and a wooden creperie in Saint-Marcan.

Auger probably chose that village because it was home to many holidaymakers, who provided a welcome public for the art environment he built in the area at the foot of the house.
The image above gives an impression of this site, which on the left side includes the miniature St. Michel, while more in the distance an oval space can be seen, walled and with some mini-towers, as pictured below.

Auger started the project in the year 1968, when he was in his late forties. 

The most impressive part, which also had its own place with accompanying entourage, was the miniature replica of Mont Saint Michel. a creation with a height of about two meters, which, as he has said, took 1,000 hours of work.

The separate walled part of the site was mainly intended to entertain children. They could take a ride on a decorated bicycle, there was a mechanical horse that could make all kinds of movements, there were ropes hanging vertically in a scaffold so that you could climb up, there was also a kind of railway train. 

Children had a great time and nearby neighbors heard them roaring with laughter.

The site also had some miniature creations, mainly depicting well-known buildings in Normandy and Brittany, such as the churches of Pontorson and Saint-Brice-en-Coglès

Pierre Auger died in 2001. 

After that, visitors could visit the site for a number of years, but in 2008 it was permanently closed, also for safety reasons, and fell into disrepair. The newspaper  mentioned in the documentation, has a photo from 2021 showing a completely overgrown mini-Mont Saint-Michel.

* Pictures of the site by Francis David on the website Habitants-Paysagistes by the Lille Art Museum 
* Article on the website of newspaper

Pierre Auger

Mont Saint-Michel in miniature

Saint-Marcan, dept. Ille-et-Vilaine, region Brittany, France

site in disrepair, no visits

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