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Mont Saint Michel - France

 


 

 

Mont Saint Michel

France

The UNESCO Heritage site of Mont St Michel is perhaps more famous than its territory. It is located in the coastal region, north of France, between Point of Grouin, in Brittany, and Point of Champeaux, in Normandy. An island (can we call it an island?) of special and spectacular interest, a rocky medieval town laid its peak on water and sand, sometimes linked to the mainland and sometimes not, this due the tides that are changing very quickly. During the highest tides Mont St Michel is completely surrounded by water, and so it becomes an island; during low tide the island disappear and the salt marsh meadows provide to be ideally suited to grazing sheep.

From ancient time, the VIII century AD, the monastery built there and from which it had its name, started to become a fortified town that stand still today. The mix of medieval architecture and the power of nature is simply emotional and everyone will be amazed by this magnificent view. The place is internationally famous as one of the world most romantic sites, and not only because the UNESCO in 1979 classified it as a World Heritage Site. The history of Mont St Michel is also attractive: it started with the Bishop of d'Avranches, who founded a sanctuary after a vision of Archangel Michael in his dreams (from here the name). The Sanctuary become soon a church, consecrated in year 709, while in the XI century an Italian architect, William de Volpiano (also know by his original name, Gugliemo da Volpiano) built the church of the abbey in the Romanesque style we can still see today. It would take more than one thousand year and other centuries for the church to become a benedictine monastic community, the same that today host the Abbaye du Mont-Santi Michel.

 

There are above all few thing that one cannot miss at Mont St Michel: visiting the Logis Tiphaine, the XIV century house of Bertrand Du Guesclin and wife Tiphaine de Raguenel, doing one of the tour trip in the footsteps of the ancient monk and pilgrims of the middle ages, who came here by crossing the bay at a low tide range (this can be today made only accompanied by a guide and can be done by crossing the area from GenÍts to Mont St Michel). It would, finally, be worth to know that the island is surrounded by water in the evening, that pilgrimage across the bay take place in July and around the end of September, depending on the tides.

 

What is attracting the spirit, other than the emotions, is the bay that surround the the rocky island. The greatest tidal spectacular range in Europe happen here at Mont St Michel. Space and time seem to be outside human perspective. The Gothic Flamboyant architecture helps to make the atmosphere more spectacular. Look at the highest point on Mont St. Michel, the spire of the monastic church, the statue of St Michel is there fighting (and defeating) the dragon. From there the view is almost surreal. Don't miss it and do come in May, during the traditional events for the Feast of Saint Michel.

GPS coordinates: 48.634222,-1.51025

Mont Saint Michel - France


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