Mont Saint Michel, a sumptuous rocky islet dedicated to Saint Michel, is a magnificent site that was inscribed on Unesco’s World Heritage List in 1979 as “Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay”.
When you set foot on this sublime island, you’ll discover architectural marvels in a place steeped in history. A veritable architectural challenge, Mont Saint Michel has been sublimated through 13 centuries of history.
At the request of Archangel Michael, Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, built and consecrated the first church on October 16, 709. The site went on to become one of the greatest centers of medieval pilgrimage, and the Benedictines built an abbey there from the 10th century onwards.
During the Hundred Years’ War against the English, the fortification of the Mont, protected by a wall and several defensive towers, made it a symbolic place of national identity. During a siege in 1421, the church’s Romanesque choir collapsed and was completely rebuilt a century later in Gothic style.
After the 1789 revolution, the monks of Mont-Saint-Michel were expelled, and the island became a prison for refractory priests in 1793. In 1811, the abbey was transformed into a forcible house, saving it from destruction. After the prison was closed, a road dam was built in 1878 to facilitate access.
In 2007, some 20 million euros were invested in its conservation and restoration.
Numerous themed tours, for young and old alike, offer a different way of discovering this place steeped in history.
Along the main street, you’ll find a wide range of shops (souvenir stores, craft products, etc.) and restaurants, including the famous Mère Poulard inn, open since 1888!
Finally, let yourself be tempted by a walk in the Bay of Mont Saint Michel with an experienced guide, to discover a magnificently preserved natural area with its fauna, flora, legends and shifting sands!