UNESCO

The Magic of Mont Saint-Michel | A UNESCO World Heritage Site

I believe it would be fair to express that viewing images of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France are stirring and magical. It evokes feelings of wonderment and enchantment, and for some possible moments of breathlessness.

Mont Saint-Michel (Pexel)

Mont Saint-Michel was that for me, from the moment I first saw photos when I was young, until the moment I climbed the narrow streets, and into the monastery with my daughter. It was unforgettable.

When I had visited Mont Saint-Michel, my daughter was a teenager, and we had come to France with her French class for a tour of Paris and the Normandy region. Mont Saint-Michel was on everybody’s thoughts, and it was pure excitement when the day came to visit this magical location.

We started off at the base of the tidal island, and walked through the charming village that lead up to the abbey. The narrow cobblestone streets with its colorful hanging tin signs was like strolling through a time capsule of medieval Europe, it was one of my favorite parts of Mont Saint-Michel.

The upward climb was steady and crowded, but we kept on moving until the entrance of the abbey. It was very warm and the sun was ruthless, although we did find pockets of shade and hugged the tall stone walls whenever possible.

Uphill walk to the abbey

Once inside the abbey, I could see the masterpiece it truly was through its fortification and construction. It was powerful and massive with gothic corridors, enormous stone walls, and a chapel inside for those who were thankful they made it thus far. Many visitors come to Mont Saint-Michel because of the outside aesthetics, but for me the interior and its construction from within was just as impressive.

Inside Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel was constructed on on a tidal island in Normandy, along the north-western coast of France. It is the beachy location and its fairy-tale architecture, that gives the abbey its dreamlike qualities. In actuality, Mont Saint-Michel was built from a dream. The Bishop Aubert of Avranches was visited twice in dreams by the Archangel Michel to build a church on the island. It took over 1300 years to construct, starting in 708 AD, but the bishop’s dream eventually came true.

Mont Saint-Michel

Over the centuries, Mont Saint-Michel had been many things- an abbey, a political prison, a pilgrimage spot, and a fortified stronghold. It was one of France’s strongest defense during the Hundred Years War with England. The English found it impossible to capture due to its fortifications and high tidal waves, and it withstood a thirty year siege against England.

Chapel

Today, Mont Saint Michel is a highly visited tourist location and a UNESCO World Heritage site, since 1979. It has been the inspiration for many movie castles, including Tangled and Minas Tirith, the capital city of Gondor in Lord Of The Rings.

Mont Saint-Michel is an extraordinary place from its first dream visitation by the Archangel Michael, to its thirteen centuries of construction, its long colorful history, and into its current phase of tourism. It has been one of my most memorable locations in France to visit, and Mont Saint-Michel will always have a magical place in this traveler’s heart.

For visitor information, please visit- Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel

Grande Roue (The Huge Wheel)

Archangel Michael

View from Mont Saint-Michel

Back of Mont Saint-Michel

On the road to Mont-Saint Michel

Traveling’s not something you’re good at. It’s something you do- Like breathing…

– Gayle Foreman
Yours Truly in Paris, France

🌎 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!

📸 All photos are taken by me (unless otherwise noted) and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre

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