French writer Victor Hugo once said, "Mont Saint-Michel is as important to France as pyramids are to Egypt." And they say that what some travel experts look forward to most in France is not Paris or Provence, but Mont Saint-Michel.
Mont-Saint-Michel, also known as Mount Saint-Michel, is famous for its unique geographical position and centuries-old history of island, there is a strong religious atmosphere. The island is conical in shape with a circumference of 900 meters and is made of towering granite at a height of 88 meters. Mont Saint-Michel and its bay, inscribed on World Heritage List in 1979.
Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island. It is surrounded by sand and connects with other lands on mainland at low tide. In evening, at high tide, it turns into an island, and this sight looks quite impressive.
History of Mount Michel It is said that in 708 AD, red-skinned Cardinal Auber of small town of Avranches dreamed of archangel Saint Michael. One night angel Saint Michael appeared in Aubert's dream for third time amid lightning and thunder, and he tapped Aubert on forehead with his magic finger. Waking up from a dream, Bishop Ober felt a dent on his forehead, and then suddenly realized, so he immediately rushed to Tombstone Mountain and set about fulfilling decree of archangel. This is how first church was built on Mount Saint-Michel. After hard work of generations, it wasn't until 16th century that abbey of Saint-Michel was truly completed, and Aubert's dream kept people busy for 8 centuries. Later, people built many shops and hotels at foot of mountain.
After its completion, Mont Saint-Michel became not only a place of pilgrimage for religious men and women, but also an ideal travel destination. The Bay of Saint-Malo, where Mont Saint-Michel is located, is famous for its fast tides, with a sea level difference of up to 15 meters between highest tide and lowest tide. Therefore, watching tide is also one of goals of most tourists here. Watching ebb and flow of tides at Fort Saint-Michel is most ideal place. From top of mountain you can admire endless quicksands below. Just 15 kilometers away you can see sea water of Atlantic Ocean. The monastery of Saint-Michel on mountain has highest status in hearts of Christians, its name comes from archangel Saint-Michel and is main building of Fort Saint-Michel.
Climbing steps along blue rocky road of Mont Saint-Michel, there are many shops and restaurants on both sides, and occasional small hotel, all neatly crammed into road. Their tenderness and diminutiveness will make you feel warm and cozy. The cold outside cannot penetrate, because fierce sea wind will meet solid fronton wall, and after a futile collision, he will have to lay down his head and release his air into the sea, stirring up waves of huge waves.
The Abbey is main and most fascinating attraction of Mont Saint-Michel. Cross street and climb steep stairs to island with monastery at top. The abbey church of Église Abbatiale was built on a rocky spire at top of hill, cruciform wings of church rest on solid rock, while choir and wings are supported by a chamber below. Although monastery was designed by many architects, it still retains an unpretentious and antique style that makes people everywhere feel meditation, strict and simple ascetic life of Benedictines.
For an ordinary tourist, France is always associated with splendor of Palace of Versailles, towering Eiffel Tower and colorful prosperity of Champs Elysees. Few people mention Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. I don’t even know popular saying in West: “You have not been to France if have not been to Mont Saint-Michel.