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"Merveille de l?Occident" Top 5 Page for this destination Mont Saint Michel by JLBG

Mont Saint Michel Travel Guide: 303 reviews and 965 photos

“Merveille de l’Occident” (Marvel of the Occident) is how the Mount is named by the Tourist Office. It has been inscribed in 1979 on the Unesco World heritage list. It is the third most visited monument in France, after the Eiffel tower and the Château de Versailles. For more, visit the web site Mont-Saint-Michel

The profile of Mont-Saint-Michel looming out of the fog like a stone ghost rising above the sea has for centuries fascinated visitors.

First, there was a rock named Mont Tombe (Tomb mount) standing alone in the middle of dangerous sand banks. In 709, Aubert, the bishop of Avranches built the first church, as required to him by Archangel Michael. In 966, a Benedictine monastery was built. Later,it burnt, it was built again. A city wall was built around the island, that allowed it to resist victoriously against the English during the “Guerre de 100 ans”. The choir of the church fall down and was replaced by the Flamboyant Gothic construction that we see now. After the 1789 Revolution, it became a prison until 1863. It was in 1874 listed as a “Monument historique”, which lead to a complete restoration.

Mont-Saint-Michel was inscribed in 1979 as a World Heritage site with the following comment (quote):
Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand the 'Wonder of the West', a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.

  • Intro Written Jan 10, 2009
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Reviews (16)

Comments (13)

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    In my opinion, Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most desired places to see and one that is still on my bucket list. Unfortunately, there is a hole in my bucket. lol

  • Elisabcn's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2009 at 6:31 AM

    Very informative page, JL! It will be part of my virtual guide during my visit to Saint Michel :-) :-) Thanks for sharing, Elisa

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2009 at 2:17 AM

    interesting page for a definitly interesting and unique destination, sooner or later I will have to decide to explore France.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2009 at 4:15 PM

    Your pages on Mont Saint Michel bring back fond memories of this fascinating place. The comment you made about having a "bowl of cider" reminds me of my French brother-in-law and his bowl of coffee.

  • Carmela71's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    Such an impressive scenario that had brought to us so many leyends and books. Thanks JL, I know one day I will be there... but till that day I have visited through your photos and writing :-)

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2009 at 3:16 PM

    We enjoyed a visit some years ago and returning with your page brought it right back. I was fascinated by the St Michael-Apollo axis information. Moving the giant parking area will be a real improvement.

  • Toyin's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2009 at 12:08 AM

    I was in Mont Saint Michel in 2006, and I now have the arch angel in my vitrine. But, the way you brought out the story is very distintive. Excellent page.

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Interesting to read of the restoration project - maybe then it will be safe to park a car. Our little dogs do sometimes restrict where we can visit.

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    I suspect I could be very happy living at the cloisters. I thought I saw the clouds moving past the castle in your cover photo... thanks for the little jaunt.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    I love that long distance view of the Mont when it looks as though it is floating. Getting rid of all the ugly surrounds will be marvellous. Then they will just need to get rid of about 70% of the visitors each day - it can be so impossibly crowded!


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