A UNESCO World Heritage Site, a trip to Le Mont-Saint Michel in Normandy will bring you up close with France’s medieval past. The place is also known as Mont St Michel.
How to Get There
From Normandy, drive your car by A84 south-west to Pontorson. Keep going until you reach Avranches. When it joins with D43, follow the signs until you get to the site. If you are driving from Paris, the journey will take 4 and 1/2 hours.
There is no railway service from Paris and Mont St Michel. Your best bet is to board TGV from Gare Montparnasse to Rennes. From there, you can ride a bus that will take you the site.
What to See on a Trip to Le Mont-Saint Michel
The Abbey of Mont Saint Michel is the biggest attraction on the land. There are many artifacts and relics that can be seen. These include the human hamster wheel. This was utilized for carrying supplies in and around the site.
The Notre-Dame-sous-Terre (Our Lady underground) was constructed in 966. It was first used by the Benedictine monks at the site of the oratory.
The site is named after St. Michael the archangel. Locally it is known as the Wonder of the Western World or Merveille de l’Occident. The granites utilized for the abbey were carried by a shipping vessel from the Chausey Isles. The abbey took nearly 500 years to build (1017 – 1521).
According to legend, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to Aubert, Bishop of Avranches in his dream. He was asking that a church be built on the then isolated rock.
The original structure was finished in 1144. Other structures were built during the 13th century. Additions became necessary as more and more religious pilgrims came to the place. The devotion was so intense that not even the Hundred Years’ War could prevent them from coming. During the 16th century, some structures were redesigned.
Parking in the site costs 6 Euros. The bus ride mentioned earlier costs 11 Euros for adults. The price is 7 Euros for people under 25 or over 60.
Children under 12 can ride for free. The typical travel tour package costs $140 for a trip to Le Mont-Saint Michel.