Mont-Saint-Michel: A UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Mont-Saint-Michel and the Bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1979. This unique ensemble, just 3 hours 30 minutes from Paris, attracts tourists from all over the world. It counts among the most visited tourist sites in the whole of France.
In 708, Aubert, bishop of the nearby hilltop town of Avranches, is said to have founded a religious sanctuary on a rock in the bay then known as the Mont-Tombe. He claimed he had been instructed to do so by the Archangel Saint Michael, appearing three times to him in visions. A spectacular abbey was then developed on the Mount through medieval times. This architectural feat, and the abbey’s exceptional harmony with its surrounding, so sought after by the abbey’s creators, still inspire awe today.
It’s hard to imagine a more stunning, theatrical setting, the bay’s waters endlessly flowing this way and that in the greatest tides on the European continent.
Throughout the year, but especially on fine days, many people, be they pilgrims or not, enjoy the elating experience of crossing the bay on foot. Accompanied by specialist guides, they can discover the exceptional diversity of the bay’s unique ecosystem. Once on the Mont-Saint-Michel, visitors climb the steep, cobbled lanes by foot to reach the abbey that crowns the Mount’s summit. The west terrace, square in front of the abbey church offers breathtaking views across the bay so it’s well worth the climb!
Find out more from the UNESCO site