Le Mont Saint-Michel
A stronghold since
Roman times, Mont Saint-Michel is now one of
France’s premier tourist destinations.
Louis XI of France,
King who founded the Ordre de
Saint-Michel in 1469, is said to have intended that Mont
Saint-Michel’s abbey be the chapel for that order, but its remote
location made that impractical. Actually, that very remoteness has been
subject to change over the centuries.
The area around the
island has at times silted up to the point of being arable land, a
process which was sped up by the canalization of the Couesnon
River in the late 19th century. Now the surrounding
area is being dredged
as part of a massive project intended to return Mont Saint-Michel to
its island status.
A recently completed
hydraulic dam on the
Couesnon will help to prevent the
build-up of silt.
The paved causeway is being replaced with a bridge that allows the
free flow of water, thus aiding in the removal of silt.
Transportation to the island will be by
shuttle, as the public parking area will no longer exist.