From the 961 text, is possible to infer that, before the building of Saint-Michel, the Rocher was occasionally climbed by very agile men. It is one of the oldest examples of written proof of activities of this type, and therefore, logically, should attract the attention of climbers and mountaineers.
The problem is interpreting this under-detailed manuscript. Does it refer solely to crazy young people who attempted the climb, or imply that the climbs were more organised and planned in advance? Or perhaps the climb was used as a rite of passage for young men from the town and from further afield, as a type of pagan ceremony at the site?
It is impossible to say, but the extraordinary nature of the site has led authors, who have addressed the topic, to suggest that it was home to a sort of ‘natural’ worship long before it was dedicated to the Archangel.
It has also been suggested, in the past, that the Chapel itself, at the summit of the Rocher, has replaced an ancient place of worship, but this idea supposes an accessibility which is contrary to, or at least unlikely given, the evidence of the 961 manuscript.
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