The Benedictine Abbey
In 709, Wulfoad, powerful Lord of the Austrasian court, founded an Benedictine Abbey dedicated to Saint Michel. Towards 815, at instigation of Dom Smaragde, the abbey is transferred near the hamlet of Godonnécourt, This last one, by phonetic evolution, takes the name of the Patron saint and becomes St Mihiel. From the IXth century, the abbey is a place of erudition, until it became a real university during the XVIIth century.
The development of the abbey gives rise to a village which is attested at the end of the Xth century. In 1251, a new city established itself around the hall. In 1301, the city became the capital of the Barrois non mouvant, outside of the French Kingdom
Today the abbey is the property of the municipality,however the abbey knew different appointments. From the first time of the Revolution, the court ( future law court) settles down in the " Big Lodging house " and the detention center under the library. At the beginning of the XIXth century, the school occupies the wing West of the convent and the police station is located in the south wing. These appointements will last until years 1960-1970. In 1976, the municipal services occupy a part of the main wing; the cultural and sports associations are welcomed in the wing of the former police station.
Partially protected from 1910, the church and the former abbey were classified as "Historic Monuments" on March 19th, 1982. The State, Ministry of Culture and the City of Saint-Mihiel, owner, undertook diverse works of restoration: the woodwork of the choir in 1973, the restoration of the Romanic tower in 1978, repair of the roofs of the East and North wings from 1982 till 1984. In 1995 and 1996, within the framework of the contract Region state, the wing of the Library was restored. Then in 1998 and 1999, the south part of the facade of the Big Lodging house. The Restoration of the roof of the church in 2004 and the doorframes of the library in 2007.
Since 1998 the wing of the Library shelters at the ground floor the tourist agency and at the first floor the departmental museum of sacred art.