Watertravel & Waterside DestinationsLe Mont Saint-Michel

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Le Mont Saint-Michel

A stronghold since Roman times, Mont Saint-Michel is now one of France’s premier tourist destinations.

Le Mont St. Michel is laced with steep and narrow passageways. Louis XI of France, the Spider 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.

Copyright © Don Douglas