The Mont Saint-Michel
Located between Brittany and Normandy, built on a small granite island in the center of a bay invaded by the largest tides in Europe, the Mont Saint-Michel defies centuries.
Initially erected at the request of the Archangel Michael, the first church was built in 709. In the 12th century, Roman monastic buildings were added and Mont Saint-Michel became an abbey. Today, the architecture of the church-abbey is a wonderful combination of Carolingian, Roman and Gothic styles.
Listed as a UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site since 1972, Mont Saint-Michel is the third most visited tourist site of France with more than 3 millions visitors per year.
In 1879 a road and a dam were erected to facilitate the access to the site. However the obstacles provoked a rise in the tides already the biggest in Europe and the bay was filled with silt as the years went by.
In 2005, the “Grand Projet” – the Big Project – to restore the maritime character of Mont Saint-Michel was initiated. A hydraulic dam was opened in 2009 followed by the construction of a walkway and a welcome center with a shuttle service to bring the visitors to the site. In October 2015, French President François Hollande inaugurated the rebirth of the Mont Saint Michel, an island once again, just waiting to be discovered or revisited.