Avranches (ävräNshˈ) [key], town (1993 est. pop. 9,520), Manche dept., NW France, in Normandy, on the English Channel. Because of its proximity to the rocky island of Mont-Saint-Michel, Avranches has a large tourist trade. A Roman town, it became an intellectual center in the early Middle Ages; Lanfranc taught there. It was devastated in the Hundred Years War, the Wars of Religion, and World War II.