P&O Ferries | Intro For Destinations | Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel

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Long considered one of France’s great landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel is an almost unique mix between man and nature. For more than two millennia the site has drawn military leaders, spiritualists and pilgrims. Today it is one of France’s most popular tourist destinations.

Mont Saint-Michel is a tight cluster of rock, stranded in a bay off the western Normandy coast, crowned with an extraordinary Gothic monastery. To the French the site is La Merveille (the marvel) due to its awe-inspiring qualities of romantic architecture and its geographical positioning.

Unpredictable weather systems characterise the area around the island. The bay often fills with thick fog, which can race across the sands at speeds of 63 metres per minute and the waves and tides of the ocean are strong and erratic. Victor Hugo wrote that they moved ‘as swiftly as a galloping horse.’

These facts add a degree of mystery to the island. The Celts believed that it was the site of a sea tomb – where bodies lay before their transportation to the afterlife. Today spiritualists are similarly transfixed and are attracted to Mont Saint-Michel to experience the wispish energy of the site which lies upon Saint Michael Line.

It is an island almost unparalleled, awash with myth and history and now recognised as a World Heritage Site – testament to Guy de Maupassant’s affirmation that it is ‘the most wonderful Gothic dwelling ever made for God on this earth.’


Fact File:

  FactThe monastery at Mont Saint-Michel lent their support to William of Normandy’s invasion of England in 1066. Following the defeat of Harold they were rewarded with lands in England, including Saint Michael’s Mount – an island shaped in the image of Mont Saint-Michel in Cornwall.