Le Mont-Saint- Michel

The Mont-Saint-Michel is one of Europe’s most unforgettable sights. Set in the mesmerising bay where Normandy and Brittany merge, the island draws the eye from great distances.

The island is located about 1 kilometre off the country’s North Western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near to Avranches and is circa 17 acres in area.

The mainland part of the commune is circa 970 acres so the total surface of the commune is circa 988 acres.

Le Mont-Saint-Michel and it’s bay are on the Unesco list of World Heritage Sites. It draws more than 3 million visitors annually. Over 60 buildings within the commune are protected in France as ‘monuments historiques’.

Did you know:
The staggering location has long inspired awe and the imagination. The story of how the mount turned into a great place of Christian pilgrimage is colourful. Aubert, bishop of the nearby hilltop town of Avranches early in the 8th century, claimed that the Archangel Michael himself pressured him into having a church built atop the island just out to sea.

From 966 onwards, the dukes of Normandy, followed by French kings, supported the development of a major Benedictine abbey on the Mont-Saint-Michel. Magnificent monastic buildings were added through medieval times, one vertiginous section being nicknamed The Marvel. The abbey became a renowned centre of learning, attracting some of the greatest minds and manuscript illuminators in Europe. Vast numbers of pilgrims visited, despite warring cross-Channel royals. However, the ramparts at the base of the island were built to keep English forces out. Other fine buildings went up along the steep village street, now converted into museums, hotels, restaurants and boutiques for today’s tourists to discover and enjoy.

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