Mont Saint-Michel (50170 Le Mont-Saint-Michel) — located in the northern French province of Normandy, the Benedictine abbey atop the mount has always been the main goal for pilgrims and tourists alike. It is reached via the steep winding village street lined by museums, restaurants and shops. The abbey’s powerful architecture dates mainly from medieval times. It still inspires awe, showing military as well as religious strength. Inside the sober abbey buildings, absorb the exceptional atmosphere of the church and cloisters and also that of the grand chambers across the wing known as The Marvel, clinging so spectacularly to the rock. In 1966, the abbey celebrated the 1000th year since its foundation. Since then, a part of the abbey has been re-occupied by a small religious community.
Far above the abbey church’s spectacular flying buttresses and Gothic pinnacles, an acrobatic statue of Saint Michael, weigher of souls, stands at the highest point on the mount. Made by the sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet in the 19th century, it recalls the origins of the Christian foundation here. On summer evenings, you can tour the abbey as night falls, with music and lights adding to the special ambiance.
The museums within Mont Saint-Michel are:
– Archeoscope: a show to discover the construction of this fabulous monument and its sacred history.
– Museum of History: old collections (weapons, paintings, sculptures, watches), prisons and dungeons, the 19th century periscope which reveals the bay.
– Maritime and Ecology Museum: to discover the tides, the bay and the massive building site to restore the maritime character of the Mont Saint-Michel.
– Tiphaine’s House: to discover the 14th century residence that Bertrand Duguesclin had built in 1365 for his wife Tiphaine (furnitures, paintings, tapestries).
Hours (Abbey): 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (May 2 – August 31), 9:30 am – 6:00 pm (Sept. 1 – April 30).
Admission (Abbey): €9 (adults over 25 years), €7 (adults ages 18-25 from non-EU countries), free to EU citizens and non-European permanent residents of France under the age of 26, and to those under the age of 18; (Museums): €9 (adults from 18 years / one museum), €18 (all four museums)(adults from 25 years), €9 (adults between 18 and 25 years / all four museums). Free admission (to all museums) for those less than 18 years of age.