Mont St Michel, a tidal island off the coast of Normandy, is truly what dreams are made of.  Legend has it that the archangel Michael come to Bishop Aubert in a dream (a few times, as he need some convincing, since it was literally a rock in the ocean) and requested that he build an Abbey.  What started as a humble sanctuary; is today a glorious example of Benedictine architecture only possible thanks to the devotion of the monks that set out to create what was requested by their archangel.  The Architectural design of Mont St Michel is also the perfect example of medieval life or feudalism, with the church at the epicentre and hence the abbey on top, the nobles below that and the staff and servants on the bottom level.

For the first 400 years it was home to hermit monks that had devoted their lives to praying and studying.  On occasion they would allow refuge to the odd pilgrim.  It it wasn’t until the 10th century, with the discovery of a skull with a hole in it, that Mont St Michael became an important pilgrimage site.  It was believed that the skull was that of Bishop Aubert  and the hole was made by Archangel Michael when he poked his dreams.  [Important fact: the skull can be seen at a nearby church in Avranches].  Pilgrims came from afar and endured the treacherous sands and tides to access Mont St Michel.  Soon, the medieval city had inns, lodging and souvenir shops that sold trinkets to the pilgrims.  Today Mont St Michel, with approximately 3 million visitors per year,  is the 2nd most visited site in France outside of Paris.  With only 30 odd people living on the island, it holds the title of the highest number of visitors per capita in the world.  So next time you’re in France don’t forget to stop at this amazing island.