Castle of Mont Saint Michel in France
Photos and text by Peter Ushanov
Mont Saint-Michel is the most visited attraction in France outside of Paris. By some estimates, up to 3.5 million tourists come here every year! This is a small rocky island, turned into an island-fortress, on the north-west coast of France. The city on the island has existed since 709.
2. But here’s a paradox: in the evening, almost no one is under the walls of the fortress. What can we say about the morning, when there were only birds around.
3. I want to warn those who wish to repeat such shots: the clay and sand at low tide are very fluid. You need to move very carefully, literally feeling the ground in front of you. I'm not talking about the fact that without high shoe covers or boots there is nothing to do there.
4. Still it is necessary to take into account that the water on the tide comes very quickly. I have never seen such speed before.
5. In the morning at the abbey are often fogs.
6Already in 1874, the castle of Mont Saint-Michel became a recognized historical monument, and since 1979, it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. Mont Saint-Michel is located 285 km west of Paris.
8. The island is a granite conical formation, the perimeter of which is 1 km.
9. Until the construction of man-made buildings, Mount Saint-Michel was only a rock with steep slopes, eighty meters high. Granite, of which it consists, is very strong and does not lend itself to erosion for thousands of years. Since 1879, the island is connected by a dam to the mainland.
10. Twice on the lunar day in the bay ebb and flow are observed, the strongest on the coast of Europe and the second in amplitude (after the Bay of Fundy) throughout the globe.
11. There are several versions of the origin of the island of Mont Saint-Michel. One of them claims that at the beginning of the 8th century, after a violent storm, the coastline changed in this part of the English Channel. Part of the coastal meadows and forests disappeared under water and then covered with sand, and two rocky hills became islands. The largest among them, Mont Tombe (Fran. "Grave Hill"), and now bears the name of Mont Saint-Michel. The little one is named Tombelen (“Little Grave”).
12. Mont-Saint-Michel Castle in France is known for its Benedictine abbey, built in the 11th — 16th centuries. The abbey covers an area of about 55,000 square meters and is an example of a medieval French fortified monastery.
13. Victor Hugo was so impressed by Mont Saint-Michel that he called him “The Pyramid in the Ocean”.
14. Mont-Saint-Michel is often mentioned in literary works (from legends about King Arthur and poems to modern novels), and also serves as a backdrop for many films and clips.