Mont Saint Michel facts. History and geography facts. Religious facts. Mont Saint Michel fun facts. Mont Saint Michel is an island topped by medieval monastery in between Normandy and Brittany. One of the most famous places in France, Mont Saint Michel has been for over a thousand years one of Europe’s major Christian pilgrimages. Normandy tours from Paris.
Fact one: Mont Saint Michel is a 92 meter high granite island off the coast of Normandy, 360 km West of Paris.
Fact two: Mont Saint Michel is a spectacular abbey, one of the most famous religious places in France with a prestigious religious history dating back to 706 AD.
Fact three: With over 3 million visitors every year, Mont Saint Michel is the third most visited tourist sight in France.
A the request of Archangel Michel, Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, built a chapel in 709. In 966, a community of Benedictines settled on the rock at the request of the Duke of Normandy. The first church was built before 1000. In the 11th century, the Romanesque abbey church was founded. The first monastery buildings were built up against its north wall. In the 12th century, the Romanesque monastery buildings were extended to the west and south. In the 13th century, a donation by the king of France, Philip Augustus enabled to start the Gothic section of the "Merveille ".
In the 14th century, the Hundred Years War made it necessary to protect the abbey behind a set of military constructions, enabling it to hold out against a siege lasting 30 years. In the 15th century, the Romanesque chancel of the abbey church, broken down in 1421 was replaced by the Gothic Flamboyant chancel. The Abbey was turned into a prison during the days of the French Revolution and Empire.
From 708 until 1792, the Mont Saint Michel was a European pilgrimage destination second only to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. A prestigious Benedictine monastery occupied the abbey until the French revolution abruptly closed it in 1792. Since 1966, monks and sisters are back to Mont Saint Michel. The pilgrimages are more numerous every year.
Since 24 June 2001, following the appeal addressed to them in 2000 by Bishop Jacques Fihey, Bishop of Coutances and Avranches, two communities of monks and nuns of the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem have been present at the Abbey of Mont- St. Michel and provide daily prayer, services and the monastic welcome. The community has seven sisters and four brothers. They live the mission that the Church has entrusted to them in their own charism of being "in the heart of the world" to be "in the heart of God". Their life revolves around prayer, work and fraternal life. The abbey has three services every day. Check web site.
Mont Saint Michel is a unique pilgrimage place in western Europe. It is dedicated to Michael the Archangel. The position of the sanctuary is also very special. Initially the whole Norman area was covered by woods and sometimes it was invaded by the sea. Three huge rocks of granite and other types of stone detached themselves from the landscape: mount Tombe, mount Tombelaine and mount Dol. The first would become Mont Saint Michel.
In the Middle Ages, the pilgrimage to Mont Saint Michel was seen as one of the most important journeys of faith underwent by the medieval man. Due to the difficulty of the road and the position of the sanctuary in the middle of the sea, it became a test of penitence and sacrifice for the medieval pilgrim. The pilgrims to Saint Michel spread the word of God and the joy of having met the Archangel in the sanctuary beaten by the tides of the sea.
This tour by coach takes one day. If you have only one day, this is for you. It is very tiring to do the almost 8 hour driving yourself from Paris to Mont Saint Michel and back in one day. The tour includes a lunch. A unique tour from Paris.
14 hours 30 minutes tour. 169 euros. Book tour
Aux chambres du Mont is located 7 km from Mont Saint-Michel. Free WiFi access is offered. Free public parking is available at a location nearby. Rooms here have a view of the Mont Saint-Michel, a flat-screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities. The en suite bathroom is complete with a shower. Central heating is available. A continental breakfast is available each morning.
There are so many tourists in Mont Saint Michel that restaurants don't have to compete. It is therefore very hard to find in Mont Saint Michel a great French restaurant that is value for money, with one exception.
La Mere Poulard is not the best French restaurant. It is also not the cheapest restaurant. But, it is such an institution known all over the world that you should try it. Order the famous omelette or take a full menu. It is good food and well served. Back home, you will be able to say: I had a meal at La Mere Poulard. Web site.