Mont Saint-Michel

Manche Department, 50170, France

Mont Saint Michel
Photo: David Iliff License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Mont Saint-Michel is an island commune. It is located in Normandy, approximately one kilometer (0.6 miles) off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. 100 hectares (247 acres) in size, the island has a populati

Map of the Area Around
Mont Saint-Michel

In the 11th century, William de Volpiano, the Italian architect who had built the Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy, was chosen by Richard II of Normandy to be the building contractor. He designed the Romanesque church of the abbey, daringly placing the transept crossing at the top of the mount.

Many underground crypts and chapels had to be built to compensate for this weight; these formed the basis for the supportive upward structure that can be seen today. Today Mont Saint-Michel is seen as a building of Romanesque architecture.

Mont Saint-Michel Categories

  • Fortresses and Other Defensive Structures

    Mont Saint-Michel was used in the sixth and seventh centuries as an Armorican stronghold of Gallo-Roman culture and power until it was ransacked by the Franks.
  • Islands

    The island of Mont Saint-Michel has held strategic fortifications since ancient times, and since the eighth century AD has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name.
  • Places of Worship, Religious Buildings

    According to legend, the Archangel Michael appeared in 708 to St. Aubert, the bishop of Avranches, and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet of Mont Saint-Michel. The current abbey was begun in the 11th century.
  • World Heritage Site

    One of France's most recognizable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and more than 3 million people visit it each year.

Other Mont Saint-Michel Resources


Popular Landmarks

Visit our sister site:
Visit Landmark: United States