Mount is 1km in circumference and 80 meters in height. Saint Michael
archangel, at the top of the abbey culminates at 170 meters high. The
Mount attracts more than 3 million visitors each year. It’s the second
most visited place in France after The Tour Eiffel and Chateau de
famed King Arthur is said to have fought a giant there. The island was
an English base during many attempts to conquer the
Mont-Saint-Michel. Tombelaine Island was carved so that the
structures could not be used for a future English base. The
Mont-Saint-Michel itself was also called Mount-Grave (Mont-Tombe)
proves that these islands were always sanctuaries. This name came from
"Mons vel Tumba Beneni”: the Mount grave of Belenos, Gallic god of the
sun. It was then attended by druids.
from A to Z
you want to avoid the tourist stores and traffic, turn right at the
exit of Pontorson after the bridge, which is at the top of the Main
road, and turn immediately to the left. The small road, which goes
straight, will take you along the peaks, through the villages of
Moidrey then Beauvoir. Two miles before the Mount the road takes a turn
to the left and joins the main road.
There is only one official entry to the Mount, made by three successive
strengthened doors (1) the door of l'Avancée (16th C), (2) the door of
the Boulevard with its canons, and finally (3) the door of the King,
his drawbridge and his harrow (15th C). The tourism office is on the
left inside the first door. The restaurant La Mere Poulard is on the
left after the second door. There are two large canons in the court
that were taken to the English by the Mont soldiers in 1434. From there
you can climb to the abbey either by the main street, or by the wall
and its gardens. From one side or the other, you will see a great
number of very old houses.
Annette Poulard made this restaurant legendary between 1873 and 1906,
particularly for its world famous omelets. In addition to the window
and decoration, La Mere Poulard sells small Breton wafers in the shop
in front. On the walls of the restaurant, many dedicated photographs of
stars and politicians are on display.
STREET (la Grand Rue): The
shops for tourists are everywhere! It is impossible to escape the
snow-globes and plastic swords, the narrow alleys are very crowded. At
the top to the right of the street, the last store before the abbey
contains various religious trinkets and interesting books. The bookshop
inside the abbey also has some choices including posters, maps and
Historical museum (or Grévin museum):
old collections (weapons, paintings, sculptures, watches). Prisons,
dungeons, reconstitution of the oubliettes, tour of the 19th Century
which explores the Bay surrounding the Mont.
Archéoscope: a multi-media spectacle which presents the
Mount history and its construction
the home of the knight Bertrand Duguesclin: 14th Century house;
recounts the life of the Constable Duguesclin and his wife Tiphaine de
Raguenel (pieces of furniture, paintings, tapestries).
Maritime Museum is open from February 1st until the
end of Christmas holidays. Other museums are open everyday from
to November 12 and during Christmas vacations. Reservations are not
required, but the phone is: 02 33 89 02 02 or 02 33 89 01 85
Wonder (the abbey)
summer (only), some night visits are available. The best time to go is
before sunset so you can experience The Mont during the changing light
and in the evening! (Information on the night visits: Tel.: 02 33 89 80
00 - email: email@example.com)
If you are on the Mount at night, don’t forget to see the deserted
lanes between the abbey and Main Street; the external illuminations of
The Mont are also very beautiful.
Today the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem, a mixed unit monks and
nuns of the "charismatic" Catholic Church movement, are present on
site. High Mass is everyday, except Monday, at 12:15. Admission is free
for the Mass, appointment at 12:00 at the entry gate of the Abbey.
Laudes is at 7AM during the week (8AM Saturday and Sunday), vespers at
6:30AM appointments 10 min before each, at the Abbey gate. No public
liturgical office is available on Sunday afternoon and Monday. For any
information (retirement, reception of group...): Tel.: 02-33-58-31-71 -
Internet site: abbey-montsaintmichel.com
Roasted with the wood fire, the salt meadow lamb sheep, feeding in the
polders of the Bay, is really the main specialty of the Mount.
Near the Mount, the village of Saint-James gave its name to a brand,
which gave letters of nobility to the clothing of sailors! The brand of
clothing has enjoyed incredible success; some stores are opening even
now in the USA! Charming for children and fashionable for adults, many
shops are around the Mont: in the entry of the Mount, in Beauvoir, on
the road just before the Mount, or directly in the village of
Saint-James (east of the Mount). http://www.saint-james.fr/
The MOUNT: The
mont-saint-Michel is frontier of Normandy and Brittany. On each side
you can discover small charming fishing ports and towns: as on the West
coast of Cotentin close to Barneville-Carteret for example. In
Brittany, the Mount is close to the pirate city of Saint-Malo (40mn),
and to the very beautiful Emerald Coast (cote d’Emeraude: Dinard,
Cancale, Cape Fréhel...). The D-day beaches are two hours east of the
Mount by car, just like the forest of Brocéliande at 2 hours in
southwest. The town of Rennes, current capital of Brittany, is one hour
Relay Saint-Michel (4 Stars). Best pick! http://www.relais-St-michel.com/
Traditional (and expensive):
- La Mere
Poulard: just inside the entry of the Mount on the left with its famous
omelets. (3 Stars) http://www.mere-poulard.fr/
Poulard terraces are in the same category but with a view of the sea.
(3 Stars) http://www.terrasses-poulard.com/
three hotels with restaurants belong to "la mere Poulard"; Cafeterias,
fast food and crèperies less expensive than the first ones are all
along the Main street.
FRANCE (2 STARS)
TOWER TOOLS (1 STAR)
- By Car:
4 hours west of Paris. Take the highway towards Rouen, then Caen 1 hour
in the North of Rennes.
By Train: TGV leaves from Paris-Montparnasse or Charles de Gaule
airport to Rennes in Britanny. In Rennes you’ll have to take the bus of
the les Courriers Bretons.
- By Bus:
Courriers Bretons: www.lescourriersbretons.com
- By Sea:
in the ports of Saint-Malo, Granville or Cherbourg.