Visitors to Mont-Saint-Michel experience 1300 years of history. The former Benedictine monastery is considered one of the most spectacular castles ever. This is due to the numerous buildings and the unique location of the castle – in the middle of the Atlantic.
One of the most spectacular castles in the world is in Normandy in France . Mont-Saint-Michel looks so fantastic, you could almost believe that Hollywood has designed. But the former abbey of the Benedictines is really real. It is a magical place attracting 3.5 million visitors every year.
The famous castle was originally only accessible at low tide. At high tide, Mont-Saint-Michel became an island in the Atlantic . At the end of the 18 th century, the government of the time, despite major protests, ordered the construction of a dam and connecting the island with the mainland forever. But even that was not enough, because in large floods the dam was rinsed. Two decades ago, France decided to replace the dam with a bridge. Planning and construction took almost 20 years and cost around 200 million euros. Since 2015, a steel-wood bridge Mont-Saint-Michel has been connecting with the mainland.
But the world cultural heritage can continue to function as it has always been by nature: an island. Because the 740 meter long bridge is deliberately lowered towards the end, so that it is under water when the flood is high. Mont-Saint-Michel is then again lonely and unique in the Atlantic .
Pilgrimage for kings
Many buildings within the complex date back to the 13th century. They are an excellent example of Gothic architecture. However, the origin of Mont-Saint-Michel lies some 300 years earlier. According to Bishop Aubert of Avranches in 708, in a dream, the order of Archangel Gabriel to build a church and honor it with it. In the following centuries Mont-Saint-Michel grew more and more. It is therefore not surprising that apart from the Gothic, there are also architectural features of Romanticism and classicism.
Already in the 10th century the first Benedictine monks came to the island. They built the abbey and built a castle wall of granite. Mont-Saint-Michel was known in many parts of Europe even in the Middle Ages. Several French kings such as Louis IX, Francis I and Charles IX. Pilgrimage to the island to honor God. Others, such as the Norman Duke Richard II, even celebrated their wedding in the abbey.
Today, Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the largest tourist attractions in France . A tour of the Abbey is like a journey through 1300 years of French history.