On an island located less than a half a mile off the coast of Normandy, lies one of the most incredible castles the world has ever seen. Due to its uniquely strategic position, Mont Saint-Michel has survived countless monarchies and wars since its construction in the 13th century.
The Romanesque abbey church was founded over a set of crypts where the rock comes to an apex in the heart of an immense bay invaded by the highest tides in Europe. The sand below the water acts as quicksand in many places. 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. This great spiritual and intellectual centre, was one of the most important pilgrimage places in Medieval times. The Abbey was turned into a prison during the days of the French Revolution and Empire, and was restored before the end of the 19th century. UNESCO classed the Mont Saint-Michel as a world heritage site in 1979.
Today there is a pedestrian bridge that connects the abbey to the mainland. You meander through the old town and then this amazing architectural building appears (after many steps). There was much damage during the French Revolution, the faces of all the saints and Angels in the plaster was hacked away. The view seemed to go on forever. We arrived at low tide (you can see the mud flats) and left as the water was still coming in. We are so glad we got to see this world renowned place from Bayeux France. Other tours from Bayeux include Normandy D-day beaches, which will be shown and described in our next post.
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