When you first see Mont-Saint-Michel you see friary tall castle rising up from a
flat landscape made up of sand and water. This culture centre of Western Christianity
is situated on the costal border of Normandy and Brittany in France. (See our interactive
map for precise location)
Mont-Saint-Michel is truly magical picture of middle age man as well as his culture
left to us. The culture of mankind is reflected within the hierarchy where Western
Christianity is actually founded: the actual abbey that is situated on the summit
and confirms the Mont’s spiritual dominance, while the actual ramparts show the military
power which encloses the lower town. The bay is swept twice each day by probably
some of the fastest tides within Europe. The speed, in which the flood waters arrive,
is said to be the same speed as a galloping horse. When the tide is out you can walk
around the bay area but caution must be taken as there is quicksand about these threats
associated with death have been exaggerated within old folk stories.
Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay are exclusive and their worldwide importance was acknowledged
by UNESCO when this association put the Mont at the top of its list of French places
to be preserved not only for the world, but from the point of view of nature and
This site is very famous and it draws tourists to it from all parts of the world.
The very old abbey, at the top of the Mont is visited ever year by about 600,000
tourists; most of these are from Japan, America, and England. The total number of
tourists who come to the village each year is two or three times as large. Statistics
cite 1,500,000 – 1800,000 visitors a year. Some are discouraged by the number of
steps and in the summer months a multitude of visitors often abandon climbing up
to the monument which is the source and at the same time the extent of how Mont saint
Michel came to be.
At Mont saint Michel the myth becomes reality, there is no better place than this
to commemorate the cult of St. Michel, who in Christian times led the forces of light
in the eternal fight against the forces of darkness in the Middle ages they left
us Mont Saint-Michel as a legacy, they passed on to us their idea of the world, in
which the fantasy and the real- far from being elements that contrast with each other
fuse to perpetuate creation and affirm unity. The massive and in fact uninhabited
bay gives the feeling of an empty space. But, the legend of a vanished forest, and
miracles said to have happened here give a connection with the life and olden times
of man. There is no better place than Mont St Michel to understand this story.
The structures and events directly or indirectly, allow us to trace all the various
phases of the middle ages. Other Romanesque monasteries elsewhere may be better preserved,
other Gothic structures may be more daring and graceful, the city walls more structural
or the old villages with more tradition, but where else can that connection be found,
with complete and impressive examples of both religious, military and civil architecture,
which is able of showing all the mysteries of the medieval period.