This rocky island in the center of a huge bay has become an amazing place since the 13th century. A fantastic silhouette of the abbey rises above it as if floating in the air. What a bewitching sight!
A miracle of architecture
Despite the rough terrain of the island, medieval builders simply surpassed themselves. In 1000, the pre-Roman church was erected, in the 11th century a Roman abbey appeared, and finally, in the 13th, an elegant Gothic ensemble was built.
The latter was called “Miracle”: it included two three-story buildings, which, as if by a miracle, were held on a slope of a rock. At the very top, the ensemble ended with a monastery and a large refectory. From the west, you could see a breathtaking view of the bay.
An angel in the sky
Mont Saint-Michel is crowned by the figure of Archangel Michael weighing 820 kilograms and a height of 3.5 meters. He overthrows the dragon of the Apocalypse, mounted on the spire of the abbey at an altitude of 156 meters above sea level. In 2016, the archangel Saint-Michel was removed from the top to restore and update, and then he was returned to the place by helicopter.
In the Middle Ages, Benedictine monks opted for Grave Mountain because of its unusually good location in the bay, flooded during the tide of the ocean. But the future of the island was threatened by sands. The large-scale work was done in 2005 and lasted 10 years. The construction of the dam (which is open for tourists too) was done after, and religious buildings have become much more resistant to the elements.
Mont Saint-Michel Bay is known for the largest tides in continental Europe – their amplitude reaches 15 meters. As soon as the coefficient exceeds 110, the mountain turns into an island for several hours. Water floods the sandbank, blocking all roads to the rock, which seems to float in the open sea. Since 2015, Mont Saint-Michel can be reached even during high tide, climbing the new bridge.
The meat of the lambs grazing here has the AOC quality mark: due to the fact that the animals feed on grass irrigated with sea water, the meat has a very special taste. After climbing the top of Mont Saint-Michel, it’s time to try the local lamb.