Mont Saint Michel is situated on the coast of Normandy, France, and its imposing buildings and striking location are one-of-a-kind. “Mont Saint Michel and Its Bay” was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 when the organization declared, “built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.”
Mont Saint Michel was originally an island called Mont Tombe, but the name was changed in the 8th century after the Bishop of Avranches, St. Aubert, built an oratory on the site after having a vision of St. Michael the Archangel. In 966 a Benedictine Abbey was built there. Many changes and additions were made, and it was finally completed in 1520 in elaborate Gothic and Romanesque style, and Maurists were given charge of the abbey in 1622 until the monastery was dissolved during the French Revolution. It was later used to imprison enemies of the crown until Emperor Napoleon III shut it down in 1863. In 1874 it was declared a historic monument and restored. Mont Saint Michel has managed to withstand various battles - attacked during the Hundred Years War 1337-1453, the Wars of Religion in the 16th century, and during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. The Church of Saint Michael is located at the top, while crypts, great halls, a cloister, and monk’s residence are elsewhere in the building. The base of the abbey is surrounded by the town, including inns, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
Accommodation: There are hotels located within the walls of Mont Saint Michel that can be booked by visitors. The area of Normandy offers all types of accommodations, from campsites by the sea, to guesthouses, to hotels and even chateaux!
Transportation: Mont Saint Michel is approximately a 4 hour drive northwest of Paris (180 miles). Can be reached by car on A11 & A81 west to Rennes, N175 Pontorson. Train: (Pontorson station) TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Rennes or Dol de Bretagne, then a coach from Rennes or Dol de Bretagne to Mont-Saint-Michel. Trains from Paris Saint-Lazare to Caen, then a TER train from Caen to Pontorson, then the shuttle bus from Pontorson to Mont-Saint-Michel.
Trains from Paris Montparnasse to Granville, get off in Folligny and get another train to Pontorson, then the shuttle bus from Pontorson to Mont-Saint-Michel. Bus: Direct Shuttle bus from Pontorson train station to Mont Saint Michel.