The Mont-Saint-Michel is located on an island just off the coast of the region of Lower Normandy in northern France. It is one of the most unforgettable sights in Europe. It is also a small UNESCO World Heritage site declared as of 1979. The major specialty of this island is the site of the spectacular as well as well-preserved Norman Benedictine Abbey of St Michel at the peak of the rocky island. This is surrounded by the winding streets as well as the convoluted architecture of the medieval town. This island is set in the mesmerizing bay where Normandy and Brittany merge. Due to this, the island draws the eye from great distances.
Initially, the island was called “mons tumba”. From 966 onwards, the dukes of Normandy, followed by French kings, supported the development of a major Benedictine abbey on the Mont-Saint-Michel. Through medieval times, magnificent monastic buildings were added to the island. The Marvel was most one of the renowned part of the monasteries. It became a renowned center of learning, attracting some of the greatest minds as well as manuscript illuminators in Europe. Despite warring cross-Channel royals, there was a large number of pilgrims coming to the monasteries. However, they also had built the ramparts at the base of the island to keep English forces out. The steep village street had other buildings for locals.
Reportedly, there are only around 50 residents in the island. But the number of tourists crosses 2.5 million every year. It seems that the place is simply built for tourism. The previous buildings of the village street have been converted into hotels, restaurants and boutiques for today’s tourists. There are museums storing antique arts. However, in the last couple of centuries, the Mont Saint-Michel Bay has been prone to silting up. Human actions have added to this problem. This includes farming and the building of a causeway to the island monastery. A lot of campaigns are regularly being done now ensure that the Mont-Saint-Michel preserves its maritime character. For instance, the Couesnon, which is the main river into the bay, is being left to flow more freely. This helps as sediments are directly washed out to sea.
There are efforts to preserve the island’s surroundings too. Recently, the visitor car parks have been moved away from the shoreline. The new car parks are now located 1.5 miles away from the island. The ultra-modern shuttle buses called Passeurs take tourists to the montfrom there. These Passeurs operate daily at very regular intervals. These stops 450 meters from the island. However, tourists also prefer booking a special horse-drawn carriage (a Maringote). I would prefer to walk all the way from the car parks. This help tourist to get the full magnificence of the Mont-Saint-Michel as they approach.
The official website of island https://www.bienvenueaumontsaintmichel.com/en provides latest updates and other booking facilities for the island trip. One should definitely go through it before going to the place and be updated. Mont Saint Michel is definitely one of the most amazing sights in Europe.