When you think of France the first word which comes into everyone’s mind is Eiffel Tower in Paris, Moulin Rouge, Louvre Museum, Castles, Tour de France, Dios Perfume, Fashion Show and mindblowing wine!! Mostly France is recognised in the world due to its grand tourism and historical landmarks. The reason behind this popularity is an amazing atmosphere, adopting environment and superb hospitality offered by France.
After Effiel Tower the, another landmark which pulls around 2.5 million visitors every year is Mont Saint Michel. Many of you are aware of it or not but this medieval Benedictine monastery is one of the most spectacular sights in of France as well as of Europe too.
So, in our blog, let’s discover more about Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint-Michel sitting on the top of a rocky island in the Bay of Saint-Michel at the meeting of Brittany and Normandy. It is a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael also known as the ‘Wonder of the West’ and there is a village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. It is constructed between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey (cathedral) is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.
The UNESCO world heritage site listed Mont Saint Michel is an extraordinary icon on the northern French coast, a magical island encircled by a lofty medieval cathedral, sensational in the horizon and standing tall against highest tides of Europe. It was for centuries one of Europe’s major pilgrimage destinations.
Unfold the Tale of Mont Saint Michel
The Mount ‘s long history dates back to 708 when Bishop Aubert of Avranches built a sanctuary to honour the Archangel (pop) on Mont Tombe. Its development was a miracle in itself: boats carried granite from quarries in Chausey, a group of small tiny islands off the coast of Normandy, which was then cut into blocks and brought to the top of the Mount.
During the medieval period, several other imposing monastic buildings were added to the site, and the main abbey became a learning centre, attracting some of Europe’s greatest minds and manuscript illuminators.
Mont-Saint-Michel is almost circular around 900 metres in circumference and consists of a granite outcrop rising sharply 78 metres out of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay. Before the construction of the 3,000-foot causeway that connects the island to land, it was particularly difficult to reach because of quicksand and very fast-rising tides. Romanesque centre and an elegant choir in Flamboyant Gothic style were constructed between 1450–1521.
The tower and spire, crowned by a statue of St. Michael, were added in the 19th century. The church is built over three crypts. The exterior walls of the splendid Gothic monastery La Merveille were erected by 1228. The most striking sections are the refectory, with its high, narrow windows, and the magnificent gallery, with its fine sculptures. There is a panoramic view of the bay from the medieval walls which belongs to the 15th century on the southern and eastern sides of the mont.
Also Read: 10 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Paris
Point of attractions at Mont Saint Michel
This is a must-see French landmark and it’s worth allowing enough time to visit its accompanying museums, hotels, restaurants and boutiques.
1) Abbey of Mont Saint Michel
The Benedictine Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel is an important centre for pilgrimages from the 8th to 18th century, and a remarkable example of medieval, military and religious architecture.
Visitors would be impressed by the abbey church, the cloisters, the refectory and the monks’ walkway. In summer, watch the nightfall complemented by sound and light in a different face of the Abbey.
2) Maritime Museum
The Mont Saint Michel Maritime Character Conservation project houses a set of 250 old boat models. There’s also offers insight into the surrounding environment of the island and its ecology.
3) Musee Historique
It consists of 1,000 years of history, with its collection of ancient weapons, medieval instruments of violence, the iron cell of Louis XI and the oblivion.
4) The Logis Tiphaine
This is the former house of the 14th Century constable of the armies of the French King, Knight Bertrand du Guesclin, and his wife the famous astrologer Tiphaine de Raguenel, who predicted the future of stars on earth.
5) Take a walk along the ramparts
Take a walk along Abbey’s ramparts for enjoyable view on the coast and Porte Echauguette, which is situated on the left of the main entrance gate of Mont Saint Michel. Make sure to head to the Western Terrace, which overlooks the bay with a stunning view.
Popular dishes from the Mont Saint-Michel include omelettes and crepes. A notable spot is La Mere Poulard, which is located near the main entrance as you enter the King’s Gate. La Mere Poulard, the most well-known establishment on the island, has been around since 1888 and is considered to be the best in the world for its famously fluffy omelettes.
Creperie La Cloche is a favourite location for crepes among tourists. Wherever you go, in the village, you have to pay a higher price for eating these delicious meals.
Visitors can walk, by bus or by car to the abbey. Remember for a treat, you have to stay on the island to enjoy the world-famous omelette of La Mere Poulard or Normandy specialities. Touring Saint Michel will definitely create a memorable journey experience.