Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mont Saint-Michel is a sumptuous and unmissable site, with millions of visitors every year. Legend has it that it appeared as a result of a huge tidal wave that buried the surrounding land under water. It was originally a simple granite rock, Mont-Tombe, on which the Bishop of Avranches had a small oratory built dedicated to the Archangel Michael in 708. In the 9th century, Charlemagne proclaimed Saint Michael the protector of his empire: Mont Tombe became Mont Saint-Michel. In 933, the diocese of Avranches is attached to Normandy and the Mont becomes Norman. A community of Benedictine monks settled there around 966 and founded an abbey. In 1793, the abbey was transformed into a prison until 1863. A few years later, the access dike to the Mount was built. While this has improved the lives of its inhabitants - for the Mount is still a municipality in its own right today - and developed mass tourism, the environmental damage was terrible, causing the Mount to become silted up, as the waves could no longer flow as they did before. Just think: a huge seawall, car parks for thousands of cars, and even a railway line at the beginning of the last century had taken the place of sand and sea! More than twenty years ago, work began: in the surrounding meadows, but also, of course, on the dike itself, which was destroyed to make way for a footbridge. Today, huge car parks welcome visitors to the mainland, giving them the opportunity to finish the remaining few hundred metres above the water, either on foot or by shuttle bus. The Mont, which the Normans never fail to remind them that it is their home, has today regained its maritime character and pride. If you can, note the dates of the high tides upstream, the vision of the Mount surrounded by the waves is superb.

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20 sites classés au patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO en Europe à découvrir

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La Mère Poulard fête ses 130 ans !

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10 destinations pour découvrir la France avec des enfants

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10 destinations françaises à survoler en montgolfière

Hot air balloon flights, long neglected in favour of faster means of transport, are once again on the rise. To get away from a frenetic daily life, many travellers take to the heights and let themselves be carried by the wind... Wouldn't that be the most beautiful definition of travel? This is an opportunity to rediscover French heritage from a new perspective. From Mont-Saint-Michel to Provence via the Loire, here are 10 favourites to get ...

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