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France at a glance: Mont-Saint-Michel Normandy

Mont Saint Michel Normandy

Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy is an iconic landmark. It’s one of the most incredible monuments in Europe and one of the wonders of the world.

Located in the Manche department,  on the edge of Normandy and almost in Brittany (which once claimed this little island for its own), the legendary island can be seen from miles around.

This place has long inspired awe and the imagination, in 1847 the great French writer Victor Hugo wrote:

“I was yesterday at Mont-Saint-Michel. Here, one would have to cram the superlatives of admiration, as the men have piled the buildings on the rocks and as nature has piled the rocks on the buildings”…

A miraculous island

Legend has it that an 8th century bishop in Avranches in Normandy claimed that the Archangel Michael told him to build a church on top of the island. In the following centuries more buildings were added and Mont-Saint-Michel became an important place of pilgrimage and learning. Nowadays though the narrow cobbled streets are filled with cafés, tourist shops and restaurants. It’s still extraordinarily beautiful.

Take a virtual tour of Mont-Saint-Michel

Google Arts and Culture have several free virtual tours of Mont-Saint-Michel. You can wander the streets, out into the bay, and see it from all angles. Head to the circles marked “EXPLORE” artsandculture.google.com/montstmichel

More on Mont-Saint-Michel

Wiggly, wobbly, wonderful Mont St Michel

The tides of Mont St Michel

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