Mon Saint Michel is a monastery that rises above Saint Malo, a small floating island on west coast of France. This Catholic Pilgrimage site is referred to as The wonder of the Western world and was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name of Mont Saint Michel and its Bay in 1979. In October 1994, Mont Saint Michel was registered as a Ramsar Convention Site.
This island was believed to be a sacred place by the Celts, the indigenous people, and was referred to as Mont Tombe (a mountain of graves). The origin of Mont Saint Michel dates back to the year 708, when a local bishop was instructed by the Archangel Saint Michel to build a church in the island. Although the main part of the building is Gothic, the interior of the building is composed of a combination of various techniques used in the Middle Ages .
In 966, Richard I of Normandy built a Benedictine monastery on the island. The monastery underwent several expansion and renovation operations and by the 13th century, its form was essentially the same as its present form. Mont Saint Michel has been gathering a substantial number of pilgrims since the Middle Ages.
Sant Malo Bay is known as the bay with the severest of tides in Europe with a tidal difference of over 15 metres. For this reason, the former Mont Saint Michel floated on the sea at high tides, and a natural bridge emerged at low tides, making it possible to cross the bridge.
Several pilgrims were swallowed up by the lake due to this severe tidal difference and the legend “If you are going to Mont Saint Michel, leave a will.” remains to date, alongside its reputation as a perilous area. In 1877, a landfill road was built between the opposite shore and the island. However, at present, there is a bridge that does not interfere with the flow of the lake in order to address environmental issues.