The abbey of Mont Saint-Michel (pics) traces its history back to the eighth century. It is built upon a tidal island that is some 600 meters offshore. At low tide it is surrounded by acres of sand. But this section of coastline experiences a 45 to 50 feet difference in low to high tides.
This island sits along the northwestern coast of France. There’s not much else around, the village of Beauvoir is about 8 kilometers inland, another 5 kilometers gets you to Pontorson which has train service. When we were here it was a bit cold and windy with some rain.
By the time of the French Revolution in the late 1700’s, there were scarcely any monks in residence. It was closed and converted to a prison and remained so for almost 100 years. In 1874 it was declared an historic monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.