Mont Saint Michel is one of the wonders of France. It represents one of the most visited tourist sites of the Hexagon. It is also a building with a history that has fueled its legend since the beginning of the 8th century.
A divine request
According to legend, the bishop of Avranches received a request from the general of the celestial angels for the construction of a church on this place. Thus, the works began at the beginning of the VIIIth century to finish in 709. Then in the Xth century, Benedictines took possession of the places.
An evolution in architecture
The modest early church has evolved over time, especially during the Middle Ages. The abbey section was set up over ancient crypts in the 11th century. While the so-called conventual parts, with Romanesque architecture, were born in the 12th century. In the 13th century, King Philippe Auguste took part in the construction of the Gothic part. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the Hundred Years War forced the building to be equipped with a military structure in order to resist enemy sieges.
Other functions under the revolution
Since the French Revolution wanted to make a clean sweep of religion, the cult buildings were turned into administrative premises. Thus, Mont Saint Michel served as a prison just after the Revolution. It was only in the 19th century that he reinstated his place as a historical heritage of religious value.
The return to grace in the 60s
In 1966, Mont Saint Michel has regained its cult value. Indeed, a religious community has been integrated again. The place then returns to its functions of yesteryear: place of prayer. In 1979, the abbey is a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
The monument become tourist attraction
Although the abbey is intended for prayer and the brothers and sisters of the monastic fraternities ensure this religious presence, this heritage has become a tourist landmark in France. Nearly 2.5 million tourists come here every year. Hence the development of a tourist village nearby. Request a car service is more than necessary for those who want to go around the town.
Mont Saint Michel nowadays
The city was attached to the abbey that made the reputation of the region and is located on a small rocky island near the city itself.
A less and less population
The town attached to Mont Saint Michel was never big. It is the same for its population. Only the last censuses of the INSEE show clearly that the Montois gradually desert their commune. Indeed, in 2014, there were only 36 to live in the city. While in the nineteenth century, they were more than a thousand. These inhabitants are largely in intramural. However, it should be noted that Mont Saint Michel hosts more than 20,000 tourists a day during the summer.
An economy based on tourism
The real economic heart of the city is tourism. Of course, this sector is doing business. Indeed, with 20,000 daily visitors, traders have multiplied in the city but they are only passing as tourists. The authorities have also classified Mont Saint Michel as a tourist town since 2009.
Gastronomy of Mons
This region of France is best known for the meat of sheep that it produces. Sheep or lamb pre-salt has even become the favorite product of the town. It is particularly appreciated when it is cooked with wood fire, the old fashioned way. But do not forget the famous omelets of the chicken mother. Made with egg and cream, then cooked over a wood fire, this dish has become a staple in restaurants in the city.
Cultural and sporting activities
Being a tourist site, various activities are proposed around this abbey. At the cultural level, concerts take place in the monument during the summer period. For example, there have been performances by world-renowned artists such as the Accentus Choir, the Republican Guard Orchestra and Thierry Escaich. Various exhibitions are also offered by the site's administrators throughout the year. At the sports level, the town regularly hosts the Tour de France cycling. In 2016, the start was made at Mt. In addition, the Mont Saint Michel Bay marathon welcomes athletes from all over the world every year for a race between Cancale and the city. Booking a car service in Paris is advisable to avoid worrying and to make the most of it.
What to visit at Mont Saint Michel ?
The site of Mont Saint Michel is the second most visited site in France after the facilities and heritage of Ile de France. The town hosts more than 3 million visitors each year, with peaks of 20,000 tourists a day during the summer periods. But what to visit at Mont Saint Michel ?
The entrance of the Mount and the courtyard of the Advanced
The first place to visit is the entrance to Mt. These two points are inescapable for both current and former visitors. They could even drink in the fountain in the form of shell Saint Jacques present in the Advanced. This place served as a military bulwark. Remnants of this function are present everywhere like the two cannons which would be pieces of the war of one hundred years according to the legend of Mons.
The Court Boulevard
After the Advanced, the visitor can pass in the second courtyard, that of the Boulevard. It is guarded by the lion's door and a drawbridge. This courtyard includes the city's civilian premises. In particular, there are commercial buildings and restaurants. It is therefore the most active and noisiest part of the town especially during the peak tourist season.
The apartments of the authorities
The former authorities and especially the officer in charge of the royal power were in the courtyard of the Boulevard but above the main door. They were housed in two-story apartments. Today, it is the civil authorities (the town hall) that are sheltered there.
The main street of the abbey
It is the only way to the abbey. During the climb to the latter, visitors can enjoy the view of the area around the city including the traditional houses of Mont Saint Michel which are classified as historical monuments.
The abbey itself
The abbey a national monument under the authority of the Ministry of Culture and Communication. With Notre Dame Cathedral, it is the most visited site in France. The monks of the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem provide the spiritual side in the places. They do not enter the management of the abbey. This function is left to the discretion of the Center des Monuments Nationaux. In other words, places to visit are missing. We advise you to contact us to reserve one of our pick-ups
Stay at the Mercure Mont Saint-Michel hotel
Set in green spaces just 2 km from the Mont Saint Michel abbey, and 7 km from the train station, the Mercure Mont Saint-Michel hotel is located at the crossroads of Normandy and Brittany, and near the Le Couesnon river. The property is 6.5 km from Pontorson and 52 km from Saint-Malo.
Perfect hotel for a stay in Normandy
In a charming and peaceful location, the hotel offers spacious rooms with all modern comforts. The rooms at the Mercure Mont Saint Michel are equipped with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV with satellite cable. These are comfortable rooms, suitable for work, or ideal for holidays, a weekend of relaxation and discovery. If you are looking to relax after a day of meetings or sightseeing, come and taste the regional specialties on the restaurant terrace. Named “Le PréSalé”, it offers local and regional specialties from the bay of Mont Saint-Michel. The bar "Le Normandy" serves drinks in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
The essentials nearby
The Mercure is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area, including attractions such as the abbey, its small alleys and ramparts. You could thus watch the beautiful lights across the bay of Mont Saint-Michel. Cultural, sporting and fun activities are also available near the hotel. The beaches of Cancale and Jullouville are 40 km away. You will find peace after discovering the Marvel. In the evening, you could walk to the entrance to the dike to watch the sunset and enjoy the spectacle of the tides.
Transport from Paris airport to Mont Saint Michel
The Mont Saint Michel is a commune in the department of Manche. It is just 63 km from the Chausey Islands and 53 km from the Christian Dior Museum. Remember that Mont Saint Michel is located 382 km from CDG Airport and 375 km from Orly Airport.