Mont St Michel in France, Normandy region

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Introduction :
Mont St-Michel is a rocky island and commune in the Normandy region of France. The island is one of the most recognized landmarks in France and has been a strategic place for forticiations since ancient times. Mont St-Michel is a Gothic style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael and was often mentioned as a Wonder of the West. Together with its bay, the area has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site since as early as 1979 and is today one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region.

Aerial view of Mont St-Michel and its bay
Aerial view of Mont St-Michel and its bay

Panorama of the world Heritage Site
Panorama of the world Heritage Site
Image attribution to joanet @ Flickr

The grasslands and cows at Mont St-Michel
The grasslands and cows at Mont St-Michel
Image attribution to L-98 @ Wiki

Entrance to the abbey
Entrance to the abbey
Image attribution to Kamel15 @ Wiki

History :
The bay around Mont St-Michel was land during the prehistoric times and the current landscape was shaped by erosion as the sea levels rose. During the 6th and 7th century, the Mont St Michel was used as a stronghold of Gallo-Roman power under the rule of the Roman Empire until it was ransacked by the Vikings. During the Hundred Years War between England and France, the English made numerous assault on the island but were unable to seize it and the iron bombarbs left by the English during their 1424 siege are still displayed at the outer defense wall of the city. Louis XI of France had intended for the abbey church of Mont St-Michel to be the chapel of Order but was never realized due to its distance from Paris. During the time of the French revolution, the abbey was closed and turned into a prison which held many hih profile political prisoners along the years until it was closed in 1863 and delcared a historic monument of France.

Barrage controlling the tides at Mont St-Michel
Barrage controlling the tides at Mont St-Michel
Image attribution to Pline @ Wiki

The streets and shops in Mont St-Michel
The streets and shops in Mont St-Michel
Image attribution to derrickding @ Flickr

The village houses of Mont St-Michel
The village houses of Mont St-Michel
Image attribution to Stevage @ Wiki

Beautiful sight at night fall
Beautiful sight at night fall
Image attribution to Benh @ Wiki

Herds of cow taking a stroll on a misty morning just outside Mont St-Michel
Herds of cow taking a stroll on a misty morning just outside Mont St-Michel
Image attribution to Bnacehko @ Wiki

Getting there :
The nearest airport to Mont St-Michel is the Rennes-Saint-Jacques Airport (RNS) which is around 70 km away from the island and serves flights from several major cities from France, Spain and England. From the capital city Paris, the distance to Mont St-Michel is around 4 hours. Visitors are recommended to reach the destination by car as the cheapest, easiest and safest way.

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