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Mont Saint-Michel City Info

Mont Saint-Michel Hotels

Mont St. Michel, a popular city in France, is located on the north coast of France, which is very near to the border of Brittany and Normandy. Mont St. Michel is a small quasi-island, separated by approximately one kilometer of waves from the mainland at high tide. It is about one kilometer in diameter and about 80 meters high, jutting defiantly above the ocean.

In the early eighth century, the Archangel Michael appeared to Bishop Aubert of Avranges, who started an oratory. In 966, a Benedictine monastery was established. In 1020, Richard II began the Abbey Church, and supported Abbot Hildebert's construction efforts. Over time, the spiritual foundations of the abbey waned, and in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries it was used as a prison. In 1874, the French government assumed responsibility for the abbey's upkeep and restoration.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, it was one of France 's most important ports, serving both merchant ships and privateers alike. It was at this time that a system of walls and fortifications were built - largely to offset the menace of English marauders - but these defenses remained weak, and the pickings rich. Flattened by the Germans in World War II, the port was faithfully reconstructed and is today one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region.

Since the city is a popular tourist destination, you'll find various accommodation options. Book your rooms at hotels in Mont St. Michel through StayResFrance.com, which offers a unique opportunity for economic travelers by giving up to 70% discount.

Mont Saint Michel Tourist Attractions

The Abbey

You can choose to tour the Gothic abbey yourself, with or without an available audio guide, or join an organized tour.  Highlights include the 13th century monastery (known as the Wonder - la Merveille), the center courtyard of which has an herb garden and provides access to the réfrectoire, or dinning hall, where the monks ate their meals in silence.  Today it is a feast of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. 

The Tide Hours

High tide times vary, with the fastest tides at the Equinoxes of March and September.  The T.I. at the entrance to the village has a sign listing the tide times.

Cost - Free

If you are staying the night, you will want to find a place to watch the tide come in.  In the course of an hour you will see the quicksand around the Mont disappear, becoming a part of the bay as the water rushes in. This area has the highest and fastest tides in all of Europe. It is said that the tide comes in at the speed of a galloping horse (it is actually about 12 miles per hour).

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