The Incredible Architecture Of Mont Saint-Michel! My “Travel Tuesday” Heads To France’s Spectacular Abbey By The Sea!

The Wonder Of Mont Saint-Michel!

We all know that the world is an incredible place, filled with wonder and beauty. This “Travel Tuesday” proves it once again with one of the most incredible achievements in nature!

It’s the perfect blend of architecture and nature – Mont Saint-Michel in France…let’s take a look!

The “Wonder Of The West!”

We’re heading to the northwest corner of France for an architectural masterpiece that is timeless.

This magnificent Abbey sits perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany.

It’s called the “Wonder of the West”, a Gothic-style Benedictine Abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls.

Mont Saint-Michel was built between the 11th and 16th centuries, and the Abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force.

Why?

Well, you know…the tide?

That’s right, every single day, the land around this incredible structure floods!

To visit, you have to plan for when the tide is out, because the road to the Abbey ends up underwater!

Mont Saint-Michel sits on an island approximately 0.6 miles off the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches.

I’m not sure if you are even allowed to move here – but if you were wondering about that, as of 2017 the island had a population of only 30 residents!

Here is some history:

The commune’s location – on an island just a few hundred meters from land – made it accessible at low tide to the many pilgrims to its Abbey, but defensible as an incoming tide stranded, drove off, or drowned would-be assailants.

The island remained unconquered during the Hundred Years’ War; a small garrison fended off a full attack by the English in 1433.

Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, and is visited by more than 3 million people each year.

In total, there are more than 60 buildings in the commune and are all protected in France as “monuments historiques.”

I have to visit this gorgeous area – my wife and I have traveled through France, but not here yet…we did drive through Provence and ended up on “space mountain” – called that because at the top it looks like this:

Mont Ventoux Tour de France

The legendary Tour de France bike race has come up to the top of this mountain, and we drove it too – you can see what’s up there by clicking on my story here:

https://johnrieber.com/2020/08/04/frances-outer-space-mountain-the-tour-de-france-race-course-up-close-on-mont-ventoux-the-bald-mountain/

We loved Provence, because you can drive through vineyards and see a Roman Colisseum as well:

Touring Franceand Provence

It’s magical, and if you click here you can find out where this classic example of Roman architecture is located:

https://johnrieber.com/2020/02/01/wine-roman-ruins-whisky-babies-my-six-shot-saturday-heads-to-provence/

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https://johnrieber.com

If you like this latest edition of “Tuesday Travel”, please share with friends on social media! Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve been to his magnificent part of the world!



Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, nature, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Travel, Travel Adventures

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19 replies

  1. Wow! This is so spectacular. Thanks for the photos and now I see the whole structure. Wish I will be here someday.

    Like

  2. Such a beautiful old Abby. Never underestimate the great minds who did the engineering and architecture. Art and math at their best. This would be a dream come true visit. Thank you, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How stunning so beautiful…I have been to the one in England but not this one…Thank you for the tour it was spectacular, John 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We had a holiday there a few years ago, staying in a lovely farmhouse sort of b&b with a view of Mont Saint Michel. We went back and forth on the special bus and on foot, for several days. So many winding streets. We also walked all round it at low tide. We loved it and we were lucky with the weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing that. I love that you stayed nearby – that’s what I will do…spend sometime in the area to appreciate it…a friend on Facebook said to do that so we can see it after all the tourists leave for the day!

      Like

  5. Wow! Such an incredible structure and history!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A beautiful old abbey, John with a fascinating location and history. I can see why the island proved to be a good place from a defense perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As Darlene mentioned, we have something almost identical in England, and it is ‘opposite’ the one in France. St Michael”s Mount, in Cornwall. https://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/ It is not quite as architecturally grand as the French version though.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’d love to see it someday too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This would be a great site to visit. I have been to the one in England. I too loved Provence!!

    Liked by 1 person

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