- 1 Mont-Saint-Michel
- 2 Visit the Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay in Normandy
- 3 AN UNFORGETTABLE SIGHT
- 4 RESTORING THE Bay of the MONT-SAINT-MICHEL tO ITS FORMER GLORY
- 5 HOW TO GET TO the MONT-SAINT-MICHEL
- 6 History of the monument
- 7 A PRESTIGIOUS SITE SINCE THE MIDDLE AGES
- 8 Abbey and fortress
- 9 THE ABBEY SINCE THE REVOLUTION
- 10 The story continues.
- 11 Mont-Saint-Michel
- 12 Mont-Saint-Michel bay
- 13 Visiting Mont St Michel in Normandy, France
- 14 Mont Saint Michel FAQs
- 15 Brief Historical Background
- 16 Mont Saint Michel Fortifications
- 17 Getting to Mont-Saint-Michel
- 18 Visiting Mont Saint-Michel
- 19 Museums on Mont Saint Michel
- 20 Visiting Mont Saint Michel Abbey
- 21 Guided Tours of Mont Saint Michel
- 22 Map and Virtual Tour of Mont Saint-Michel
- 23 Tips for Visiting Mont Saint Michel and the Abbey
- 24 A History of Mont Saint-Michel – Normandy – France
- 25 The Legend of the Bishop of Avranches and His Visions
- 26 The Middle Ages: Tumultuous Times
- 27 The Abbey and its Prisons
- 28 Renovating Mont Saint-Michel
- 29 Mont Saint-Michel Today
- 30 2022 Tips on Visiting Le Mont St Michel in Normandy, France
- 31 Visiting Mont St Michel in Basse Normandie
- 32 Visiting the Abbey of Mont St Michel
- 33 Opening Hours and Admission Tickets for Mont St Michel Abbey
- 34 Tips on Visiting Mont St Michel
- 35 MyBestPlace – Mont Saint-Michel, An Island in the Kingdom of Tides
- 36 8 Things to Know Before You Visit the Mont Saint-Michel
Home GeographyTravel Landforms and Islands: Physical Geography of the Land France is an archipelago with islands. Alternative titles include: Mont Tombe is a mountain in France. Mont-Saint-Michel is a rocky islet and famed sanctuary located off the coast of Normandy in the Manchedépartement of the Normandy Region of France. It is located around 41 miles (66 kilometers) north of Rennes and 32 miles (52 kilometers) east of Saint-Malo. Mount St. Mary is surrounded by medieval walls and towers, which rise above the village’s clustered dwellings, with the ancientabbey perched atop the mountain’s summit.
Mont-Saint-Michel is practically round (it has a circumference of approximately 3,000 feet) and is made up of a granite outcrop that rises steeply (to a height of 256 feet) out of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay (betweenBrittanyand Normandy).
Fast sand and extremely fast rising tides made it particularly difficult to reach the island prior to the construction of a 3,000-foot causeway connecting it to the rest of the island’s infrastructure.
Britannica Quiz France has a number of World Heritage Sites.
- Which town is dominated by the Gothic cathedral of Saint-Étienne, whose construction began at the end of the 12th century and was completed in the 15th century?
- Take the quiz to find out.
- Aubert, bishop of Avranches, had a vision of the archangel St.
- The island has been a popular tourist destination since since.
- When King Philipp II of France attempted to seize the peak in 1203 it was partially destroyed.
- In 1256, the island was fortified to withstand sieges during the Hundred Years’ War between England and France (1337–1453) and the French Wars of Religion (1562–98).
- During Napoleon I’s rule (1804–14/15), it was converted into a state jail, and it continued to function as a prison until 1863.
- The magnificent abbey church, which towers over the island, features an enormous Romanesque nave erected in the 11th and 12th centuries, as well as a beautiful choir in theFlamboyantGothic style (built between 1450 and 1520).
- Michael, were built.
- It was established in 1228, and the outside walls of the magnificent Gothic monastery La Merveille combine the formidable features of a castle with the simplicity of a religious structure.
- The medieval walls (13th–15th centuries) that line the southern and eastern sides of the summit provide a panoramic view of the harbor and surrounding area.
The population was 46 in 1999 and 36 in 2014, according to the most recent census. Amy Tikkanen has made the most current revisions and updates to this page.
Visit the Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay in Normandy
On the 1st of December, 2021, an update was made. Time required for reading: 3 minutes France’s most beautiful sites are the Mont-Saint Michel and its Bay, a picturesque island capped by a gravity-defying monastery that is one of the world’s most photographed places. This sacred island, which has been an important pilgrimage site in Europe for centuries, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as is the surrounding harbor, which is also a World Heritage Site.
In the summer, take advantage of a late-afternoon visit. Starting at 7 p.m., the parking fee is decreased, and the abbey is open until midnight. ‘Chronicles of the Mount’ night performance will be performed every evening, save on Sundays, from the beginning of July until the end of August, weather permitting.
AN UNFORGETTABLE SIGHT
The Mont-Saint-Michel is one of Europe’s most memorable views, and it is a must-see for everyone. The hill, which is situated in a mesmerizing bay shared by Normandy and Brittany, catches the eye from a long distance away. This breathtakingly stunning place has captivated people’s attention for a long time. During the early eighth century, Aubert, bishop of the nearby hilltop town of Avranches, claimed that the Archangel Michael himself had compelled him to have a church built atop an island just out to sea.
The establishment of a significant Benedictine monastery atop Mont-Saint-Michel was backed by the dukes of Normandy, who were followed by the French monarchs, beginning in 966 and continuing until the present day.
Despite the ongoing cross-Channel battle, a large number of pilgrims came to the island; in fact, the defenses at the base of the island were erected to keep the English soldiers away.
RESTORING THE Bay of the MONT-SAINT-MICHEL tO ITS FORMER GLORY
Europe’s most famous landmark, the Mont-Saint-Michel, is a must-see. The hill, which is located in a mesmerizing bay shared by Normandy and Brittany, grabs the eye from a long way. This breathtakingly stunning site has captivated people’s imaginations for quite some time. During the early eighth century, Aubert, bishop of the nearby hilltop town of Avranches, claimed that the Archangel Michael himself had compelled him to have a church built atop an island just out to sea. The story of how the mount came to be a major Christian pilgrimage site dates back to that time period.
Throughout the Middle Ages, magnificent monastery structures were erected, with one particularly perilous wing earning the moniker “the Marvel.” This famous study center drew some of Europe’s best thinkers and manuscript illuminators to its cloisters.
Despite the ongoing cross-Channel battle, a large number of pilgrims came to the island; in fact, the defenses at the island’s foot were constructed to keep the English soldiers away.
Other beautiful buildings surround the steep village street, many of which have been turned into museums, restaurants, hotels, and stores for today’s tourists to take advantage of. E. Berthier is a French author who lives in France.
HOW TO GET TO the MONT-SAINT-MICHEL
Europe’s most famous landmark, the Mont-Saint-Michel, is one of the world’s most photographed places. The hill, which is located in a mesmerizing bay shared by Normandy and Brittany, grabs the eye from a long way. This breathtakingly stunning place has grabbed the imagination of many for many years. During the early eighth century, Aubert, bishop of the nearby hilltop town of Avranches, claimed that the Archangel Michael himself had compelled him to have a church built atop an island just out to sea.
- The establishment of a significant Benedictine monastery atop Mont-Saint-Michel was backed by the dukes of Normandy, who were later followed by the French monarchs, beginning in 966.
- The Abbey of the Mont-Saint-Michel became a renowned center of learning in the 16th century.
- Other beautiful buildings surround the steep village street, which has been transformed into museums, restaurants, hotels, and stores for today’s tourists.
- Berthier is a French author and poet.
History of the monument
The architecture of the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel is a testament to the competence and expertise of multiple generations of builders who worked on it. Over a period of 1,300 years, and on a difficult terrain, the Abbey’s building is an unquestionable technical and aesthetic achievement.
- AN IMPORTANT SITE SINCE THE MIDDLE AGES
- THE ABBEY AND FORTRESS
- THE ABBEY SINCE THE REVOLUTION
- THE STORY CONTINUES
A PRESTIGIOUS SITE SINCE THE MIDDLE AGES
Bishop Aubert dedicated the first church atop Mont Tombe in honor of the Archangel Michael in 708, marking the beginning of the long and illustrious history of Mont-Saint-Michel. On the request of Richard I, Duke of Normandy, Benedictine monks established a settlement in the city in 966. These monks, who worked under the supervision of the Abbot and adhered to the Rule of Saint Benedict, were responsible for the expansion of the new monastery. The Abbey swiftly rose to prominence as a significant pilgrimage destination in the Christian West, as well as one of the most important centers of medieval culture, where a vast quantity of manuscripts were produced and preserved.
The spiral staircase at Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey (on the left) and the so-called Ranulphe staircase (on the right) – Photo courtesy of Colombe Clier / Centre des monuments nationaux Due to the fact that building on this historic monument began in the 10th century and continued until the 19th century restorations, it has a diverse range of architectural styles.
The Abbey has seen several transformations throughout the years, including fires, collapses, reconstructions, changes in usage, and restorations.
The ambulatory of the monks at the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel – Photograph by Étienne Revault / Centre des monuments nationaux The Merveillebuilding is frequently referred to as the “jewel in the crown” of the Abbey’s architectural accomplishments.
This masterwork of Norman Gothic art gives testament to the architectural prowess of the builders who worked on it in the 13th century.
Abbey and fortress
Bishop Aubert dedicated the first church atop Mont Tombe in honor of the Archangel Michael in 708, marking the beginning of the lengthy history of Mont-Saint-Michel. When the Duke of Normandy, Richard I, requested that Benedictine monks be stationed there in 966, they were accepted. In obedience to the Abbot’s authority, these monks adhered to Saint Benedict’s Order and played a key role in the development of the new monastery. A vast number of manuscripts were written and housed in the Abbey, and it swiftly rose to become a significant pilgrimage site in the Christian West as well as one of the most important centers of medieval civilization in the world.
- A significant number of pilgrims, including various Kings of France and England, have come to the Abbey over the years since it is located at a critical juncture in political and intellectual history.
- Due to the fact that building on this historic landmark began in the 10th century and continued until the 19th century restorations, it contains a diverse range of architectural styles to admire.
- Fires, collapses, rebuildings, changes in usage, and restorations have all taken place at the Abbey throughout the years, transforming the structure.
- Photo by Étienne Revault / Centre des monuments nationaux, of the monks’ ambulatory at Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey.
THE ABBEY SINCE THE REVOLUTION
Saint-long Michel’s and illustrious history started in 708, when Bishop Aubert dedicated the first church atop Mont Tombe in honor of the Archangel Michael. When the Duke of Normandy, Richard I, requested that Benedictine monks be stationed there in 966, they were granted permission. These monks, who worked under the supervision of the Abbot and adhered to the Order of Saint Benedict, were responsible for the expansion of the new monastery. The Abbey swiftly rose to prominence as a key pilgrimage site in the Christian West, as well as one of the most important centers of medieval culture, where a vast quantity of manuscripts were produced and preserved.
The spiral staircase at Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey (on the left) and the so-called Ranulphe staircase (on the right) – Photo courtesy of Colombe Clier / Centre des monuments nationaux.
Throughout the Middle Ages, the historical, political, and economic circumstances had a significant impact on the works done and the methods employed.
The Abbey church, situated on the summit of the Mount at an elevation of 80 metres, lies on an 80-metre-long platform that is divided into four crypts that have been carved into the spur of the rock.
This marvel of Norman Gothic architecture gives evidence to the architectural prowess of the builders who worked on it in the 13th century.
The story continues.
The Abbey of Mont-Saint-thirteen Michel’s centuries of history, as well as its position on an island, present a perpetual conservation and repair challenge. Beyond the ongoing maintenance required for such a heavily visited and exposed to the elements site, the Centre des monuments nationaux undertakes large-scale restoration programs, in which more than 20 million euros have been invested since 2007 to bring it back to its former glory. As a result, the Abbey is undergoing continual construction under the supervision of the Chief Architect of Historical Monuments.
Internal renovations at the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel: the chaplaincy Featured images courtesy of Colombe Clier / Centre des monuments nationaux Throughout the year, the numerous cultural events organized by the Centre des monuments nationaux contribute to a rise in the number of visitors to a monument whose access circumstances have been completely modified, particularly in the chapel and the cellar.
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It is named after the island of Mont-Saint-Michel, which is located off the coastlines of Normandy and Brittany, close to the mouths of the Couesnon River and the town of Avranches in France, and is a tidal island. While the island of Mont-Saint-Michel has held cultural, religious, and strategic significance since the Merovingians ruled the region, it is best known today as the site of a magnificent Gothic-style Benedictine abbey, which was built between the 11th and 16th centuries CE and dedicated to the Archangel St.
While the island of Mont-Saint-Michel has held cultural, religious, and strategic significance since the Merovingians ruled the region, it is most widely known today as the site of Known as the “Wonder of the West,” Mont-Saint-Michel and its harbor were declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 CE, and the monastery on the island is one of France’s most visited attractions, attracting more than 3 million tourists every year to the island.
The island of Mont-Saint-Michel is located 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) off the northwestern coast of France, 66 kilometers north of Rennes and 52 kilometers east of St. Malo. It is a popular tourist destination. Despite the fact that the island is only 7 ha (17 acres), its circumference is 960 meters long (3,150 feet), and its highest point is 92 meters (302 feet) above sea level, Mont-Saint-Michel is the most photographed place in the world. As a tidal island, Mont-Saint-Michel was historically connected to the French mainland, which explains why it was originally called “the Little Venice.” Depending on the time of year and the weather conditions, the tides in and around Mont-Saint-Michel are among the most dramatic in Europe.
- When pilgrims traveled to the island in the Middle Ages, they had to cross a 7-kilometer (4.3-mile) stretch of water, which was 5 kilometers farther out into the English Channel than it is today.
- The pilgrimage to Mont-Saint-Michel resulted in the deaths of 30 pilgrims in 1318 CE, and organized rescues of tourists and pilgrims continue to be an alarmingly common occurrence today.
- Aubert’s arrival, according to some traditions.
- According to tradition, it was St.
- 720 CE) who was the first to erect a Christian sanctuary on Mont Tombe and dedicate it to St.
- A vision of the Archangel Michael was reportedly seen by St.
- The Archangel appeared to him in a vision and instructed him to supervise the construction of a small oratory on an island near the mouth of the Couesnon River.
Aubert committed to build the oratory, the Archangel appeared again and again until he agreed to do so.
Aubert’s arrival on the scene.
It is mentioned in a number of hagiographical works as a pilgrimage destination, and the “Revelatio ecclesiae sancti Michaelis” provides the historical account of its founding.
It is interesting to note that Mont-Saint-Michel first appears in Norman charters in 1009 CE.
It was in 966 CE that Lothair I of France (r.
This marked the beginning of Norman dominance over the island.
942-996 CE), Duke of Normandy, the Benedictine monks contributed to Mont-Saint-growth Michel’s as a major center of pilgrimage as well as a center of commerce.
Because of increased rivalry with Capetian France, Norman rulers (and, after 1066 CE, the kings of England) began to regard Mont-Saint-Michel as both a place of faith and a strategic fortress during the course of the 11th Century CE.
King Louis IX (r.
The fame and fortunes of Mont-Saint-Michel grew steadily from the 11th to the 15th centuries CE, thanks to the Normans’ establishment of a Romanesque abbey church in the late 11th century CE, which was later expanded in the 12th century CE by the French.
1180-1222 CE) successfully captured Normandy from England in 1203 CE, Mont-Saint-Michel suffered significant damage.
(It consists of two three-story buildings, a refectory, and an enormous cloister.) After paying a visit to the Abbey, King Louis IX (reigned 1226-1270 CE) patronized it even further by presenting it with royal gifts and ordering the renovation of the Abbey’s defensive walls and other military structures.
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When England and France were at war during the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453 CE) between the two countries, the English besieged and blockaded Mont-Saint-Michel three times. The French had constructed powerful fortifications in the 13th century CE that would allow them to survive an English siege that would last 30 years. As a result of the sieges, the Abbey was able to withstand the hardships that resulted, and Mont-Saint-Michel was the only portion of western and northern France that remained free of English rule during the Hundred Years War.
- As a result, Mont-Saint-Michel experienced a period of relative decline, which lasted throughout the French Wars of Religion and into the twentieth century (1562-1598 CE).
- In spite of the fact that the Abbey was never under Huguenot authority, it was spared the ravages of Protestant iconoclasm during their reign of terror.
- It was Napoleon I (r.
- Reconstruction efforts began in earnest in 1874 CE, with Catholic worship resuming there two decades later, in 1922 CE.
- A new bridge was built to replace an existing causeway in order to better accommodate natural tide flow and the Couesnon River’s flow.
When England and France were at war during the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453 CE) between the two countries, the English besieged and blockaded Mont-Saint-Michel on three separate occasions. A 30-year siege by the English would not have been possible without the French construction of sturdy fortifications in the 13th century CE. As a result of the sieges, the Abbey was able to withstand the ravages of time, and Mont-Saint-Michel was the only portion of western and northern France that was spared English control during the Hundred Years War.
- This marked the beginning of the beginning of a period of relative decline for Mont-Saint-Michel, which persisted throughout the era of the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598 CE).
- In spite of the fact that the Abbey was never under Huguenot administration, it was spared the horrors of Protestant iconoclasm throughout the sixteenth century.
- It was Napoleon I (r.
- Reconstruction efforts began in earnest in 1874 CE, with Catholic worship resuming there a decade later in 1922 CE.
A new bridge was built to replace an existing causeway, which was no longer suitable for the natural tidal flow and the Couesnon River’s water level fluctuations.
Alexander Lamoureux, Marc Le Rouge, Alexander Lamoureux, Alexander Lamoureux, Alexander Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux, Alexander Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux, Alexandre Lamoureux
The Baie de Mont-Saint-Michel puts up a spectacle that is always changing, but always exquisite. With its significant tidal changes, it is recommended that visitors only go out across it with an expert guide, such as from one of the Maisons de la Baie, or tourist centers, which specialize in the bay’s history and ecology. One of the themed trips includes a visit to the Banc des Hermelles, an incredible reef constructed entirely by sea worms! Here, on the boundary between Brittany and Normandy, the greatGR34hiking path that travels completely around the coast of Brittany begins, passing first in front of the church of Saint-Anne alongside Cherrueix, a location well-known for its sand-yachting.
The bulwark that ran down most of the Breton length of the bay allowed for very profitable farming in the areas behind it to be accomplished. Stalls are frequently put up selling superb veggies, including large tresses of garlic that are very amazing. Windmills previously dotted the landscape around the bay, and although most have been abandoned, some are available to the public, such as the Moulin de la Saline in Cherrueix, which describes the region’s rich gastronomic heritage.
A fabulous forest in the bay
According to legend, a forest once spanned across the bay, until the seas encroached on it. At low tide, you may see an incredible forest of different species out in the open. Many hundreds of wooden poles (known as bouchots) were erected after the war to support the production of mussels, and it is still in use today. Awarded the coveted appellation d’origine contrôlée classification, the bay’s moules de bouchots have acquired a reputation for their superior quality. Start your adventure from Le Vivier-sur-Mer or Cherrueix and you’ll be on your way to this incredible woodland in no time!
Visit the Maison des Polders in Roz-sur-Couesnon, which is a bit further east and housed in exquisite architecture.
The name Marc Le Rouge comes from the French for “red.”
Visiting Mont St Michel in Normandy, France
The Mont Saint Michel is one of the most popular tourist destinations in France, outside of the capital city of Paris. Every year, tens of thousands of people go to this amazing piece of medieval construction to witness it. There is no castle on the island of Mont Saint Michel. Instead, you will discover a unique medieval monastery with a variety of architectural styles, the most notable of which is the Gothic abbey built in the 13th century. However, how can you travel to Mont Saint Michel and see the monastery without having to deal with the crowds?
There is nothing quite like Mont Saint Michel, a community and abbey that is unlike any other in the world.
Even St Michael’s Mount, which was formerly a Norman Priory on the opposite side of La Manche, doesn’t come close to matching it. The natural pyramidal shape of the granite outcrop placed restrictions on the medieval architects, who were forced to build an abbey with three floors as a result.
Mont Saint Michel FAQs
Located on a tidal island in the English Channel, Mont Saint Michel is a fortified medieval hamlet that evolved beneath a Benedictine abbey. Contrary to common perception, there is no castle on the island of Mont Saint Michel. The tidal island was formed when an intrusion of molten lava from around 525 million years ago was exposed when sea levels rose and the softer surrounding rock was worn away, resulting in the formation of the island. The islet is not particularly large, with a radius of just 960 meters and a maximum elevation of about 92 meters above sea level, and it covers an area of around 7 hectares.
Where is Mont Saint Michel?
The tidal island is located around 1 km off the Normandy shore near the mouth of the Couesnon River, a few miles from the boundary between Normandy and Brittany in northwestern France, and is a popular tourist destination.
When Was Mont Saint Michel Abbey Built?
In the year 708 AD, a shrine dedicated to the Archangel St Michel was erected. Construction of a pre-Romanesque chapel began in the 10th century AD, and the Romanesque church was completed around a century after that. The Benedictine Abbey that we see today was constructed mostly between the 13th and the 18th centuries, with renovations and repairs occurring until the 19th century. The fortifications on the sea level were built during the Hundred Years’ War between England and France in the 14th century and are still in use today.
What is La Merveille?
The 13th century Gothic monastery known as La Merveille, which was erected on the site of the 11th century Romanesque abbey and integrated it, is referred to as ‘the wonder’ in French. In order to accommodate the shape of the tidal island, medieval architects built the abbey in three levels, rising to a height of 35 meters. It is today known as the “jewel in the crown” of the monastery complex.
Why Was the Abbey Built Here?
A chapel on the tidal island is said to have been erected by the Archangel Michael after the Bishop of neighboring Avranches received commands from the Archangel Michael in his visions. In 708 AD, Aubert (the bishop) commissioned the construction of a shrine. Over the years, the places became a famous pilgrimage destination, and as a result, the city thrived and prospered.
Can You Stay Overnight on Mont Saint Michel?
Yes. There are a few hotels on the island where you may stay if you want to relax. Despite the fact that they are not prohibitively costly, they do fill up quickly – check a list on Booking.com.
Brief Historical Background
The abbey church and cloisters, which are located at the very top of the hill, are made feasible by a system of subterranean crypts and buttresses. Founded in the eighth century AD, Mont Saint Michel has a long and distinguished history, the earliest written evidence of which goes back to the beginning of the eighth century. This monastery was to be built on the site of what was then known as Mont-Tombe, according to legend, by the Bishop of Avranches, who received heavenly direction from Archangel Michael.
The abbey was constructed with the church as its focal point, and a community sprang up at the base of the granite rock.
After the Revolution of 1789, the monastic order was disbanded and the abbey was utilized as a jail until 1863, a few hundred years after it was built.
In 1979, it was included on the UNESCO list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites.
(for progress, seeMont Saint-Michel, June 2013). Having become a tidal island, you may now either walk over the bridge or take a bus to reach Mont Saint-Michel.
Mont Saint Michel Fortifications
During low tide, the ramparts of Mont Saint Michel are the most visible structures on the island. By the 14th century, the hamlet that had grown up outside the abbey’s walls had reached the water’s edge. With the outbreak of the Hundred Years’ War between the French and the English, the strategic significance of the island became even more apparent. In the early 14th century, new and more formidable defenses were built, resulting in the creation of an impenetrable castle for the Duchy of Normandy.
For over three decades, the wall and defense towers stood firm against English assaults and attacks.
Getting to Mont-Saint-Michel
Once upon a time, visitors to Mont-Saint-Michel could drive up to a parking lot right outside the entrance to the monument. This is made impossible by the proposal to make Mont-Saint-Michel an island for the second time in a row. Not only was traffic during the busiest times of the day during the peak holiday season a nuisance, but a car park directly in front of the Abbey is an eyesore, therefore it is a good thing that it has been removed. Everyone now has the option of getting to Mont-Saint-Michel on foot or by shuttle.
- There are no steps or height variations on the roads and walks, and there is lighting that makes it easier to travel around in the nighttime hours.
- If you are driving to Mont-Saint-Michel for the day, you will need to park your car at the new parking lot located right beyond the strip of hotels on the main road in La Caserne, which is free of charge.
- The shuttle service is free of charge.
- to 1 a.m., seven days a week, from 8 a.m.
- The causeway road includes a pathway, which takes around 20 minutes for a comfortable stroll.
- For cyclists who want to secure their bicycles and then go on foot or by shuttle, there are two options: one is located in the car park, and the other is near the dam wall, between where you enter the causeway road that leads to Mont-Saint-Michel and where you exit the causeway road.
In order to get admission to the hotel’s car park, you will be asked to input this code at the entrance to the restricted section of La Caserne, which is located on the property’s grounds.
Visiting Mont Saint-Michel
Visiting the tidal island of Mont Saint Michel and visiting the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel are two very different things. The island is open to the public without fee. Walk around the old hamlet and along its walls to get a feel for the place. On the island, there are a number of eateries that provide whole meals to their customers. In addition, there are a lot of restaurants where you may purchase light refreshments. Of course, there are the omnipresent souvenir stores to be found everywhere.
And then there’s the abbey, which you may learn more about in the section below.
Museums on Mont Saint Michel
The construction of the abbey is depicted in a multimedia presentation.
A typical local history museum, showcasing the island’s 1,300-year history through exhibits.
In the residence of Tiphaine de Raguenel, an astrologer and the wife of Bertrand Du Guesclin, a prominent knight during the Hundred Years’ War, there is a portrait of Tiphaine.
The museum explores the nautical history of Mont Saint Michel, and it also has a collection of over 250 miniature ships.
Visiting Mont Saint Michel Abbey
From 3 May to 31 August 2021: daily from 09h30 to 18h30 From 3 September to 31 December 2021: daily from 09h00 to 18h00 From 3 May to 31 August 2021: daily from 09h00 to 18h00 The following days will be closed: The first of the month, the first of May, and the 25th of December
Adults are charged €11.00. Purchase a Priority Entrance Ticket for the Mont Saint Michel Abbey online from Tiqets at a discounted rate for youth under the age of 18.
Toilets, as well as a gift shop Website of the Tourist Information Center|Official Website|UNESCO World Heritage Site
Guided Tours of Mont Saint Michel
Are you pressed for time or simply want a stress-free visit? Then why not hire a taxi to drive you to the Mont Saint Michel site? Day excursions are offered from the following cities: Paris, either as a guided tour (fromGetYourGuideorTiqets) or as self-directed tours (fromGetYourGuideorTiqets). The self-guided tour includes a bus ride to Mont Saint Michel, with the option of an audio guide if desired. On a guided tour from Paris, in addition to the bus ride, you will be accompanied by a live guide who will show you around the island of Mont-Saint-Michel.
Map and Virtual Tour of Mont Saint-Michel
Please visit our Interactive Map of France if you would like to view the location of Mont Saint Michel on a map. You will be able to acquire driving instructions to Mont Saint Michel from any place on the map, as well as enjoy a virtual tour of the island, thanks to the interactive features (not the abbey). Navigate to satellite view on the map and then drag the yellow pegman (located in the lower right) onto the map. You may either walk through the medieval towns on the blue roads or take a trail around the perimeter of the tidal island to get to your destination.
Unfortunately, using Google Maps, it is not feasible to take a virtual tour of the abbey’s interior.
Tips for Visiting Mont Saint Michel and the Abbey
It is always crowded at Mont Saint-Michel, which is France’s most visited destination outside of Paris and is therefore constantly crowded. My recommendation for avoiding the crowds is to get on the island early in the morning, about 8 a.m. (earlier if you would like to walk around the village and take photographs). Straight ahead, you’ll find the Abbey’s main door, which opens at 9 a.m. in the summer (May to August) and 9.30 a.m. from September to April. If you are staying in one of the La Caserne hotels for the night, they will offer you a ticket – be sure to get one!
Please only do this in a well-populated area or with a local guide who is familiar with tide periods and where deadly quicksands might be found before you go.
A History of Mont Saint-Michel – Normandy – France
The name of Mont Saint-Michel and the town in which it is located have not always been the same. The island, which was originally known as Mont Tombe and then as “Mont Saint-Michel at the peril of the sea,” has seen several transformations throughout the ages, and is now the third most visited attraction in France.
The Legend of the Bishop of Avranches and His Visions
Following three visions in which the archangel Saint-Michel appeared to Saint-Aubert, the Bishop of Avranches, erected Mont Saint Michel in 708 after being visited by the archangel Saint-Michel. It was following this third and last vision that he made the decision to have an oratory erected in honor of the divine figure, but where should it be built? The symbol Saint-Aubert was seeking for was a bull linked to Mont Tombe; as a result, he determined that Mont Saint Michel was the appropriate location.
Their return cargo included a portion of wall, a scarlet cloak, and a piece of marble upon which the archangel had set his foot.
The Middle Ages: Tumultuous Times
Over time, the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel would become a destination of devotion, prayer, and pilgrimage for people from all over the world, including the Pope. The presence of Benedictine monks, who have lived in the area since 966 and have translated Aristotle’s books, as well as the remains of Saint-Michel, drew pilgrims in pursuit of spiritual fulfillment. The abbey’s strategic location made it a prime target as well. The construction of the abbey’s additions was coordinated with the strengthening of the island’s fortifications.
In 1204, the monastery was assaulted by a band of war-hungry Breton knights under the direction of Guy de Thouars, who managed to take the abbey by surprise.
The Abbey and its Prisons
Mont Saint-Michel gained notoriety during the time of King Louis XI, when the fortress was transformed into France’s Alcatraz. It was used as a detention center until 1860, when it was converted back to a hotel. During the French Revolution, dissidents were imprisoned in the abbey’s holding cells, which served as detention centers.
650 convicts were moved to the continent when the jail closed a century later, as a result of an imperial mandate. Victor Hugo, an enthusiastic supporter of the abbey, was one of several people who advocated for the closing of the jail.
Renovating Mont Saint-Michel
The monastery’s worship grounds were repaired in 1922, but it was not until 1966, when the abbey celebrated its 1,000th anniversary, that pilgrimages returned in full force. The restorations were overseen by the French government, which owned the abbey at the time of the work. The Benedictine monks re-established themselves in the prayer rooms, but they gradually began to abandon the abbey. It was in 2001 when the Monastic Fraternity of Jerusalem arrived to the monastery and began organizing daily festivities for the community.
Mont Saint-Michel Today
In 1879, a road built on an embankment was created to make it simpler for pilgrims to go to their destination. The restoration of the island’s nautical elements began in 1983 with the inception of an initiative to do so. The project, on the other hand, is currently being severely questioned since it is causing sand to accumulate. This allowed the English Channel waves to flow freely since the parking lot had been demolished and a new access road erected on pillars had been created. The ancient road is being gradually eroded by the entering water, which is causing it to crumble.
Since 1862, Mont Saint-Michel and its harbor have been designated as a national historic monument, and the site has also been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
2022 Tips on Visiting Le Mont St Michel in Normandy, France
The island abbey of Mont St Michel is one of the most popular attractions in France’s Normandy and Brittany regions, and it should not be missed. The abbey, walls, and old town are all historical and cultural gems, but stay away from the various tourist traps and eateries that dot the landscape. Mont St Michel is one of the most attractive historical sites in France, and it is well worth a visit. The monastery of Mont St Michel, which dates back to the Middle Ages, is perched on top of a rocky island near the shores of Normandy and Brittany.
- It is unquestionably worthwhile to see the Romanesque-Gothic abbey complex; nonetheless, a majority of other museums on the island are of little genuine interest.
- Hiking around the island on the mudflats is also highly popular, and it offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.
- Purchase your tickets for the abbey in advance from Tiqets to avoid standing in line.
- Note: Beginning in 2022, prepaid tickets with time-slot entrance timings will be required for visitors to the Abbey of Mont St Michel to be admitted.
- Tickets are not available for purchase during periods in which the monument is required to stay closed until a reopening date has been announced by the French government.
There are certain modes of transportation that are only accessible during peak hours – an organized tour is a wonderful day-trip option from Paris, for example.
Visiting Mont St Michel in Basse Normandie
In the English Channel, off the coast of Normandy and Brittany, is the little island of Mont St Michel, which is most known for its beautiful Romanesque-Gothic monastic structures. Every year, over 2.5 million visitors travel to Mont St Michel, with almost half of them visiting the abbey complex as well. A single steep road climbs up through the little settlement to the abbey complex at the summit of Mont St Michel once you have passed through the admittance gates (which are free; there is no admission price here).
A few minor museums and attractions are scarcely worth the time it takes to see them.
The busy Grand Rue may be avoided by ascending to the abbey through the walkways on the ramparts, which provide breathtaking views of the city below.
Visiting the Abbey of Mont St Michel
When it was used as a religious institution and as a military fortress, the ancient Benedictine monastery of Mont St Michel was considered an outstanding masterpiece of medieval construction. It is astonishing, if not fortunate, that only around half of all tourists to Mont St Michel enter the monastery itself, which is perfectly worth the entry fee. Mont St Michel is a must-see destination for anybody visiting France. Although audio tours are available, most tourists will be satisfied with the complimentary leaflet (which is available in a variety of languages) provided by the abbey’s visitor center.
Although Mont St Michel has been a Christian center from at least AD 708 – visitors may view buildings spanning from Carolingian to contemporary, the majority of the abbey complex is Romanesque and Gothic in style – the abbey complex is open to the public.
- The west terrace, which offers breathtaking views of the bay
- The 1000-year-old Romanesque abbey church, erected 80 meters above sea level and with a High Gothic chancel from the fourteenth century
- With light double-row pillars and the most spectacular vistas, the cloisters are a sight to behold. It is known as the Merveille (marvel) because it is a magnificent thirteenth-century three-level building in two blocks that was designed to assist maintain the weight of the massive church perched atop a rocky outcrop.
The massive statue of the archangel Saint Michel, which crowns the church’s 32-meter-high spire, may be seen from a long distance away. At the end of the nineteenth century, a statue was erected in his honor. During the Hundred Years War, the fortified fortress of Mont St Michel was notable for its resistance to the English. The abbey was used as a jail during the French Revolution and remained in that capacity until 1863. Because of its historical significance, Mont St Michel has been designated as a national monument since 1874, and it was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 1979.
Opening Hours and Admission Tickets for Mont St Michel Abbey
The ancient town section of Mont St Michel does not have any opening hours and does not require any entry tickets. Early in the morning or late in the evening, after the day-trippers have departed, the town is particularly delightful. For adults, admission to the Abbaye du Mont Saint Michel is €11, with free admission for EU nationals or permanent residents of France under the age of 25 (otherwise, it is €8 for those between the ages of 18 and 25, with free admission for all children under the age of 18).
It is much more prudent to purchase tickets online from the abbey, or even more conveniently via Tiqets or GetYourGuide, which offer mobile phone tickets that allow holders to enter the building immediately.
The abbey complex is open all year, with the exception of December 25, January 1, and May 1, when it is closed.
to 6 p.m., and from May to August, they are 9 a.m.
The last admissions are one hour before closing time. During the summer, a light and sound show takes place in the abbey grounds from around 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Visitors who arrive before 6 p.m. are welcome to stay for free; otherwise, they must purchase additional tickets for the evening program.
Tips on Visiting Mont St Michel
With 2.5 million people each year, it is reasonable to expect long lines on most days. It is generally recommended to avoid visiting Mont St Michel during the summer, during school vacations, and during weekends, particularly long weekends. The months of November, early December, late January, February, and March are the months with the lowest visitor counts. If you can’t avoid arriving late in the afternoon (after approximately 3 p.m.) or early in the morning during busy seasons, it’s best to arrive late in the afternoon (after around 3 p.m.) or early in the morning, but lineups can form as early as 30 minutes before opening time during the summer.
- Prices on the island are marked up for tourists, and restaurants have little motivation to deliver high-quality food or service if they don’t get repeat business from them.
- Although it is common to go around the island on the mudflats, it is recommended that you do so with a guide since the swift and extremely hazardous tides of the Bayeux have previously been documented in the Bayeux tapestry.
- There are no lockers or left-luggage facilities available at Mont St Michel or in the parking lot at the present time.
- On the mainland, free baggage lockers are accessible at the tourist information center and in the parking lots where you park your car.
- It is no longer feasible to get all the way to Mont St Michel by car or on foot.
- For additional information, please see Transportation to Mont St Michel.
MyBestPlace – Mont Saint-Michel, An Island in the Kingdom of Tides
Mont Saint-Michelis an island off the northern coast of France, between Brittany and Normandy. It is the most visited place in the country. It is bordered by a lovely harbor, which provides one of the most outstanding views of the European tides anywhere in the world. This occurrence happens twice a day, with tides reaching heights of more than 14 meters in both the morning and the evening, depending on the time of day. It is considered to be so unique that it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
- Since the Middle Ages, this abbey has been a popular pilgrimage site, and it now has a diverse collection of architectural styles dating from the 11th to the 16th centuries.
- During high tides, Mont Saint-Michel bizarrely transforms into an island in the midst of the sea, which is connected to the mainland by a pedestrian bridge that was constructed in 2014.
- Because to the dangerous levels of the tides and the quick rise in water levels, it is not safe to travel along the sandy path.
- Because of its spectacular beauty and mystical tide, Mont Saint-Michel has grown into a fantastic tourist destination, making it one of the most intriguing sites on the planet.
Because the terrain of this enchanting location, which is steeped in an ever-changing environment, is capable of altering within a few hours, tourists are given a glimpse into the struggles of the Middle Ages, making it a one-of-a-kind destination.
8 Things to Know Before You Visit the Mont Saint-Michel
France’s Mont Saint-Michel, taken by 4maksym / Getty Images. It is estimated that roughly 2.5 million visitors travel to the Mont Saint-Michel each year, making it one of the most frequented destinations in France. Who could blame someone for wanting to see and experience this legendary island, which has a history spanning more than a thousand years? It is critical to plan ahead of time when dealing with a large number of guests. Here are some things you should know before you travel to the Mont Saint-Michel in order to have a pleasant and unforgettable experience.
- Consider spending at least one night in the neighborhood instead.
- Consider establishing a base in Rennes, the capital of the Brittany region.
- Another choice is the seaside town of Saint-Malo, which is about an hour’s drive from the Mont Saint-Michel and a lovely area to spend an evening relaxing by the sea.
- Each situation has its own set of advantages.
- Low tide is equally intriguing, since it completely surrounds the commune with sand, allowing visitors to stroll around its circumference and study it from a different perspective than they would otherwise be able to.
- This will ensure that you are kept safe while on the tour.
Photograph by Peter Adams Photography Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo of Mont Saint Michel, Normandy It’s vital to remember while visiting the Mont Saint-Michel that it isn’t a manufactured tourist destination and that it is actually home to 44 people, including the monks and nuns who live in the Abbey.
Be respectful of their house and refrain from photographing the people, especially during religious events.
There are also a significant number of steps to negotiate, particularly when ascending to the Abbey.
A nun on the island of Mont Saint Michel|David Bagnall / Alamy Stock Photography Omelettes and crepes are two of the most well-known foods served at the Mont Saint-Michel.
La Mère Poulard, the most well-known restaurant on the island, has been in operation since 1888, and its infamously fluffy omelettes are often considered to be the greatest in the world.
Crêperie La Cloche is a popular crepe shop in the area, and it is a favorite with visitors.
The option of bringing a picnic lunch is excellent.
Make a point of visiting the Terrasse de l’Ouest, which provides a breathtaking view of the Bay of Naples.
But there are several sights and activities to see and do in the area, including museums and churches in addition to the beautiful Abbey situated atop the hill.
Watch out for the parish church of Saint-Pierre, which is flanked by a cemetery (where Anne Boutiaut, La Mère Poulard herself, is buried) and which has a silver statue dedicated to Saint-Michel on the Grande Rue on the route up to the Abbey.
Photo by MARKA / Alamy shows the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel La Mère Poulard is also well-known for her buttery cookies, which are a wonderful (and delectable) remembrance of her visit.
They’re available for purchase around the hamlet, although they can be purchased for a fraction of the cost in practically any grocery shop in France.