Speakers: Alexander Wilson, Context Expert
Alexander Wilson: Hello, my name is Alexander (so Alex) Wilson and I'm speaking to you from France. But of course I'm British.
Alexander Wilson: I went to to University at Oxford actually. I studied history, that's something that remained with me, but I've been living in France for over 35 years actually – and spent a lot of that time in Paris.
Alexander Wilson: Now I live just on the coast, just north of Bayeux and so right in the middle of the D-Day coastline. And you can imagine how that Second World War angle is so important to what I do. But also, of course, you know Normandy is such a wonderful place. So chockablock, full of history, you know notably William the Conqueror and the Normans and you know these towns like Caen and Bayeux itself and so on.
Mont St. Michel will celebrate its 1,000th anniversary in 2023. What is your favorite element of the island's history?
Alexander Wilson: Mont Saint Michel is quite unique, you know what is there not to like about it? Just the sheer beauty of the site, the architecture and the village and the mount itself. But then, if you're into walks, walking around the bay, across the sands, what an experience! It's really not surprising that it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And once you've discovered it you'll keep wanting to go back. It's just one of those things. And that's very much my case. And of course I fairly regularly take people there – which is great and I really enjoy!
Alexander Wilson: Next year, 2023, is going to mark the 1,000th birthday, you know, anniversary of the beginning of the construction of the Romanesque church.
Alexander Wilson: It's almost this decision that intrigues me the most to build a church which is going to be as long, 80 meters as the island itself.
Alexander Wilson: That decision in itself is kind of absolutely extraordinary. And then of course, you know, the game is that they're going to have to build crypts and so on to create a platform upon which to put put the church and that creates this labyrinth. And that of course is what we'll be exploring.