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Mont St. Michel

Listed under Churches & Abbeys in Normandy, France.

  • Photo of Mont St. Michel
  • Photo of Mont St. Michel
Photo of Mont St. Michel
Photo by mikelyvers
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Off the coast of Normandy rises a small islet dominated by the magnificent monastery and cathedral of Mont St. Michel, one of France's most famous sights. The islet is connected to the mainland by a causeway but at low tide the sea around the islet recedes temporarily. Mont St. Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The monastery site dates to the 8th century with the existing gothic structures dating to the 11th and 12th centuries. Improbable, mysterious, and fairytale-like, Mont St. Michel retains its timeless character despite the mass of tourists, shops, and restaurants crowding the little islet.

Written by  Mike Lyvers.

Other expert and press reviews

“Mont St Michel, Normandy, France: One-minute wonder”

By Tim Jepson for The Telegraph First Published 14th May 2009 Why is it special? Its spectacular position, the architecture (a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic), its history – it dates back to the eighth century – and its religious legacy (though now … Read more...

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Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Mont St. Michel - Must see place !

I'd say it is the next place to see in France after Paris.

I recommend to visit Mont St. Michel at least twice :

First time try it in the late evening (or in the night), it is especially enchanting and fairytale in the darkness. Shops will be closed (no tourists ;), you will only be allowed to walk on the walls (or around the island in low tide), but you will not regret the experience (in good weather, of course).

Another visit should happen in the daylight, in the hours of low tide. There will be a lot of tourists, and old walls sometimes could look dull, but view from the cathedral upper floor over a vast sandy beach which just hours ago was under the sea is just stunninly amazing.

see some pictures:

Hint: if you are staying close to Mont St Michel, also visit Fougeres - small nice city with a picturesque castle.

another hint: 'UNESCO/World Heritage site' title is not given for nothing. all such places I visited were great.

1 Reply

Thanks for your recommendations and mapping suggestion.

Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay

Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand the 'Wonder of the West', a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.

Copyright © UNESCO/World Heritage Centre. All rights reserved.

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