Our Blog - Mt-Saint-Michel - May 2007
Mt-Saint-Michel is a "rock" at the northern coast of Normandy, a few hours drive from Paris. There is a 12th century Abbey there, and it is also known for becoming an island during high tide. You'll see pictures of this and it is very odd. The land surrounding the area is very flat, and then you have this huge rock going towards the sky. At some points, it is surrounded almost entirely by water while other times, it is amidst a sandy beach.
As you can tell, not the best weather for taking pictures. You can see how this looks very much out of place with the surrounding country, which is very flat. Then you have this tall, rather small rock jutting straight up out of nowhere.
This is the parking area. They have different areas based on how long you plan to stay. You can see on the right and left, the water starting to come in with high tide. As you come in, they tell you what the high tide forecast is (time and height) and which parking areas you can be safe in overnight. If you are parked in the wrong place overnight, your car could go out to sea.
This is the Abbey, perched atop the rock face. It was started in 1017 and took a whooping 500 years to complete. Legend has it that St. Michael (the archangel) appeared to a bishop and told him to build a church on this site, as it supposedly was where Michael has slain a dragon. The bishop thought it was a dream and ignored it. Then St. Michael appeared another time to the same bishop, again, he ignored the vision thinking it was a dream. The third time, St. Michael actually hit him in the forehead to ensure that the bishop believed it was truly him and not a dream, and the bishop started the church.
This is the entrance area into the "town". There are no cars allowed inside the walls and this is what was the drawbridge that opened into the town.
This is a view of what the town looks like. There is one street that basically winds around and encircles the entire Mont. It is small and windy, with old-fashioned shops, hotels, and restaurants on it.