To be able to successfully visit Le Mont-Saint-Michel, first scenic spot in France inscribed on World Cultural Heritage List, we have to thank Norman city of Caen! When I checked into Hotel Caen yesterday, room had an introduction to nearby attractions and it was actually abbey of Le Mont Saint Michel! So I checked map and it was only an hour and a half from Caen. The name of abbey of Le Mont Saint Michel really strikes my ears! Unexpectedly, I'm so close to him now! So drastically change your self-driving route! The abbey of Mont Saint-Michel will also be a sudden "turning point" in our six-country auto tour! Because of this, my future route will change a lot! I hope this change will bring positive results (in future I will publish travel stories about self-driving in six Western European countries, so stay tuned!).
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is a rocky island about a kilometer off coast of Normandy. This is not only a tourist attraction in France, but also a place of pilgrimage for Catholics. At top of mountain is famous monastery of St. Michael, which uses Gothic Benedictine monastery, symbolizing "Western finite world", to worship and consecrate Supreme Angel. The abbey of Mont Saint-Michel and its bay was inscribed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1979 due to its unique natural scenery, important religious influence, and long-term historical charm that ranks first in France. List of cultural heritage! It also ranks second in top ten most beautiful castles in Europe (after Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany) and is also third most important holy site of Catholicism, besides Jerusalem and Vatican. Its ebb and flow is called eighth wonder of world... it is "Western World Beyond" between blue sky and ocean! Although Mont Saint-Michel does not have splendor of Palace of Versailles, splendor of Eiffel Tower, colorfulness of Louvre and colorful prosperity of Champs-Elysées, about 2.5 million tourists and worshipers from all over world come here every year. Sightseeing and worship are most popular attractions in France after Arc de Triomphe. The great writer Victor Hugo once said: Mont Saint-Michel is as important to France as Great Pyramid is to Egypt!
The small island of Saint-Michel, with a circumference of 900 meters, is conical, rises 88 meters above sea level and consists of towering granite rocks. Since it is often surrounded by large sandy beaches, it becomes an island only at high tide: tide in bay rises rapidly, and difference between tides exceeds 15 m. turned into a vast ocean, which was a sight to behold.
But it all started here with Bishop Avranches' dream! In AD 708, Saint Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, decided to build an angel chapel on top of Mount Saint-Michel after seeing in a dream supreme angel Saint Michel. Suddenly, this small chapel attracted more and more pilgrims.
The Benedictine church built a monastery here in 10th century, and at foot of mountain shape of a village gradually took shape. After 14th century, monastery expanded to foot of mountain. Mont Saint-Michel has fortified forts and walls. During Hundred Years War between Great Britain and France, it successfully resisted attack of British army and is not only a model of military architecture, but also a symbol of French national spirit! After French Revolution, monks of church were dissolved, and the monastery was used as a prison until 1863. It was only in 1874 that it was recognized as a historical monument and underwent a large-scale reconstruction. progress.
Mont Saint-Michel is stunning from far and near, and its reflection in Bay of Saint-Michel is yet another illusion. In clear weather, his majestic figure stands in front of you. When fog is covered, it becomes unstable and blurry. Due to biggest tidal difference in Europe, fascinating performances are put on every day. This is one of most visited attractions in France. There are tourists, there are pilgrims, and over 2.5 million people are driven by curiosity every year, flocking from all over world to find out. Whether for sightseeing or spiritual needs, Mont Saint-Michel is a sacred site and has a strong historical footprint.
From bridge across sea to foot of mountain, you can walk along main avenue (Grande rue) in mountains to top and walk inside city wall. During climb to top, you can also see attached chapels and small castles that are part of monastery castle complex. Climbing to top, you will see a vast platform overlooking bay below and surrounding magnificent scenery.
Mont Saint Michel Abbey is a unique monument and overall design is in no way comparable to any other abbey! The architects of Middle Ages completely followed mountain form of pyramid in their design, and various floors were erected around granite stone mountain.
At top of bell tower of monastery there is a statue of St. Michael Archangel with a sword and scales. Saint Michael is god of war. In religious beliefs of Middle Ages, its importance cannot be underestimated. According to Apocalypse of New Testament, Saint Michael once defeated a dragon, symbolizing devil.
The abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is not only a place of pilgrimage for Catholics, but also an ideal tourist destination for general public due to its cultural, historical and architectural significance. According to United Nations Natural and Cultural Heritage Organization: Mont-Saint-Michel is a "unique aesthetic feature" due to its unique combination of natural environment and buildings; village is able to coexist on a small island, and originality of its layout is impressive, Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most important sites of medieval Christianity.
In short, this place is worth a visit! After that, your body, mind and soul will be cleansed!
France's most stunning sights!
The most fascinating place in France!
Mont Saint-Michel Abbey
18.07.2022, Bordeaux, France