The Abbey, Mont Saint Michel

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • in the crypt Saint Martin area
    in the crypt Saint Martin area
    by gwened
  • monks promenade
    monks promenade
    by gwened
  • nave entry of Abbey
    nave entry of Abbey
    by gwened
  • gwened's Profile Photo

    The abbey monastery MSM

    by gwened Written Mar 29, 2015

    Three letters that means a lot, even if with time the place is overrun with tourists, the meaning and the silent beauty of it remains. This is another run up the hill my family took at least the boys. see other entry tip on it here.

    It is huge , inmense ,with a great feeling of peace. All stone, not much decoration but the simplicity of the place in such a marvel of Human monument overimposed any doubts on its beauty, a must to see here by all on Earth.

    There are several masses done here all week and on special religious dates.

    It has about 20 rooms open for visitors to see with one of the most remarkable examples of religious and military architecture of medieval times.

    See the wonderful cloister, the refectory, the monk’s promenade, the gardens of la Merveille,and western terrace overlooking the bay. A wonderful big wheel or grande roué; the guest’s hall or salledes hôtes, chapel Sainte Madeleine (with its black Madonna), the Crypt of Saint Martin,chapel of Sainte Etienne (St Stephen), the north south stair or escalier nord-sud, Gentlemen room or salledes chevaliers.

    All magical

    More on the Normandy tourist office
    http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/articles/mont-saint-michel-298-2.html

    nave entry of Abbey monks promenade salle dites de Chevaliers, knights's hall guest's hall salle aux h��tes in the crypt Saint Martin area
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • gwened's Profile Photo

    The wonders of the abbey

    by gwened Updated Jul 24, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    a wonderful building just into an island rock withstood the wrath of the ocean for centuries and still there magical, biblical, sublime, a must to see in your lifetime.

    I have not been back here in a while, and just came in passing by, after knowing all the changes to come in 2015 decided to take a quick peek and post some photos. Definitively a must to come back with the family.

    You have the tourist office link below, and here is the national monuments of France site in English with more info on a magical architectural marvel
    http://mont-saint-michel.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

    update for arrivals
    there is a new passarelle promenade open just now, you can walk all the way to the MSM without having to take a bus. You will see water and plants on both sides but will remain dry, there would be a middle road for the buses navettes to arrive and the horse wagons,
    from October 2014 the digue will begin to be phase out and soon by 2015 it will be an island that can be visited on foot yeararound. This digue route of 1 km long will join the passarelle on pylons for another 760 meters, and at the end the esplanade of arrival of the mont saint michel!!

    the mont Saint Michel majestic the abbey coming up to it by bus the rosary window the wonderful stained glass in the abbey the abbey architecture is impressive
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Don't miss the Abbey

    by Beausoleil Written Jul 31, 2013

    The abbey is open every day except the 1st of January, the 1st of May and the 25th of December and is one of the National Monuments of France. You do have to pay entrance but it is absolutely worth it. We took the guided tour the first time we went and were glad we did. You get a lot of information and notice things you might not if you were self-guided. Since then, we just go and enjoy it with the brochure.

    While you wait for the tour (and if you want an English tour, you may have to wait), the views surrounding the Abbey church are incredible. It is worth the entrance fee just to see the surrounding views.

    Lots of information at the National Monument web site. [Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel Web Site

    It is a church and they do have Mass. You are welcome to attend but if you are sightseeing during Mass, you are asked not to take photographs. You can use your camera freely everyplace except the place where the actual service is taking place. You can also return for photos after the service is over.

    The very top View from the Abbey at Mont-Saint-Michel A little crowded walking up It is a church The Cloisters are peaceful
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    The saint after which the Mont is named

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Aug 12, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As they say in the classics, St Michael (St Michel) and I "have history".

    I went to St Michael's Convent Grammar School for Girls - an anachronistic North London establishment that could so easily have been the prototype for Muriel Sparks' classic novel , "The Pride of Miss Jean Brody". It was a government (non feepaying) school, but affiliated to a particular religion and admitted only children who had passed the 11 Plus exam ... even at that time, it was an odd fish.

    We were a girls only school further set apart from our peers by a purple school uniform ("The Imperial Colour" as I was informed in all seriousness when I started in 1974) whose school outfitter was the exclusive Dickens & Jones department store in Regent Street: I just thank my lucky stars for the fact that I missed the regulation school hat by a couple of years! On September 29th, we had a half day off in celebration of our patron saint's day, better known in the old church calender as Michelmas. Hell, over quarter of a century later, I am still word perfect in my (tuneless) rendition of our school anthem, "Dux Michael" ("Our Leader Michael") in Latin ... yes, well, it was that sort of school, and my capacity to retain the utterly useless decades later still astounds me ...

    St Michael is an interesting saint, as (along with Gabriel) he wasn't a real person. He is an archangel (essentially God's 'A Team') and nemesis of the fallen archangel, Lucifer. He is big into dragon slaying - which is usually how he is depicted - but unlike St George, this is symbolic of the fight over good and evil. Under the statue you will see his motto: "Quis ut es Deus?" ("Who is as God?")

    Why should he be the namesake of island monasteries in both Cornwall and Bretagne? This bit I have yet to work out, but he certainly seems to have cornered the market on location!

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    THE ABBEY CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Aug 29, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Abbey Church built in the early years 0f 1000, is located right on top of the rock, 80 metres above sea level, on a platform 80metres long.
    Inside are Arches, Galleries and tall windows. The Romanesque chancel which collapsed in 1421, was rebuilt after the 100years war in a gothic style.
    It is quite plain, I was expecting more.

    Abbey Church
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    The Abbey

    by Tom_Fields Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For centuries, pilgrims travelled here from all over Europe to visit this medieval abbey. Today, it's a museum as well as a church. Like Durham Cathedral in England, it stands on a natural strong point and it part church and part fortress. It also has a fascinating interior, with exhibits on its long history. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Looking up at the abbey Inside the abbey The Guests' Room, where pilgrims stayed The Refectory The Abbey's cloister
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pavlik_NL's Profile Photo

    The abbey court of Le Mont Saint Michel

    by Pavlik_NL Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the wonders on the island of Le Mont Saint Michel is the actual sanctuary, the abbey of Saint Michel. High on top of the rocks, this abbey has been lifted higher throughout the centuries, until it has become the magnificent stories high building that one sees today. The crown on this jewel is - for me at least - the courtyard within the abbey. This green aosis within the rocky island that is completely filled with buildings, breaths a true heavenly spirituality. It must have been here that the monchs (that actually still live here too) were closest to God. The trance that surrounds the courtyard is a graceful adding to the small garden, and from some windows on the other side of this trance, one enjoys a breathtaking view over the bay of Mont Saint Michel.

    A view on the green oasis of Mont Saint Michel The courtyard is a true heavenly domain The trance adds a certain gracefulness too Extraordinary views from the trances windows

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pavlik_NL's Profile Photo

    Take a guided tour through the abbey's labyrinth

    by Pavlik_NL Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The abbey can be best explored on a guided tour. The huge construction, that has been expanded in height throughout the centuries (on the small rocky island there was no other option then go up into the sky), has left a true labyrinth of corridors, staircases and tunnels, that connect magnificent halls, decorative rooms and many other spaces with wonderful or dreadful stories. The guide will tell you all details and backgrounds on the various rooms and halls, as well as a perfect overview of the history of Le Mont Saint Michel. Don't worry, almost all (usual) languages are available (French, English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Russian).

    The hall of pillars within the abbey Saint Michel The diningroom of the monchs at the top floor Stairs, tunnels, corridors ... a true labyrinth Heavenly light fall into the abbeys church

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pavlik_NL's Profile Photo

    An abbey as well as a castle

    by Pavlik_NL Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When you walk around Le Mont Saint Michel, you will notice that this actually looks more like a castle then it looked like an abbey. This is very true as Le Mont Saint Michel was indeed a extremely fortified island, to prevent loothing in this extreme turbulent times in an even more turbulent environment. Normandie was for a very long time the place where the borders between England and France shifted. As Le Mont Saint Michel was from the beginning more willing towards the French, one could imagine that the English would have not been mild when the rock would fall in their hands. However, even though this was attempted several times, Le Mont Saint Michel always stood strong to invasions, thanks to it's magnificent position and the strong fortifications that surrounded the island. Twice a day for several hours, the island became invinsible, as the tides rushed in and washed besieging enemies away.

    Towers, walls and fortification all around Le Mont When sea rushes in, cars uh, enemy are washes away Everyone can see that this is not easily conquered From above an enemy could be seen from afar Le Mont is surrounded with walls on several levels

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Abbaye du Mont St-Michel

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The main attraction on Mont St-Michel is the Gothic Abbey, perched on the top of the island. Of the 3.5 million people that visit the island each year, only about 1 million of them actually pay a visit to the Abbey. I wonder if it has something to do with the very steep climb required to get up to the Abbey?!

    The Abbey was built from the 13th to 16th centuries. A visit to the Abbey in June 2006 cost us 8 euro. This price allows you access to wander through the Abbey at your leisure. You can also join a guided tour at no extra charge, or hire an audio guide for another few euro.

    We opted for the guided tour (in English). It was quite interesting, though our tour guide spent a lot more time talking about himself and his time living in England than explaining about the Abbey!

    The tour starts at the Abbey Church, which sits right on the summit of the island, and is constructed from a mix of architectural styles due to parts of the building collapsing over the years. It also covers the cloister, a pretty garden area for contemplation, the refectory and a Gothic guest hall, amongst other things.

    Although the setting is fabulous, the inside of the Abbey wasn't as impressive as I expected, though I still think it is well worth a visit.

    Abbaye du Mont St-Michel in the cloisters inside the Abbey walking up to the Abbey views of the Abbey from Abbey terrace
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo

    The Abbey

    by Toshioohsako Updated Sep 5, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Abbey of Mont Saint Michel is solemn and dignified. Its one of the most beautiful and significant abbey in France.
    One must climb up here to see it, otherwise your dream to visit MSM is less than a half-fulfilled. Besides, it here at the highest level of MSM where the Abbey is, which gives a panoramic view of the vast sand-covered off-tidal period of the sea "desert" around MSM.

    Was this review helpful?

  • vinc_bilb's Profile Photo

    3. the Abbey of Mont Saint - the Marvel

    by vinc_bilb Updated Sep 9, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A unique plan
    The abbey is a unique monument, built on 3 floors, constrained by the pyramidal shape of the rock. The abbey church (80m long) is situated at the top, stands on crypts that create the suitable platform.
    The abbey know as the "merveille"is a jewel evidence of the architectural mastery of its builders who succeeded in stacking two blocks of 3-sorey buildings on a rocky slope (but the roman chapel collapsed in 1421 and was rebuilt after).
    The structure become lighter toward the top, supported by the platform itself and by robust pillars, mixing several styles (Roman, flamboyant gothic, ...)

    My top list
    Upper floor: The abbey church, the cloister, the refectory
    Middle floor: The guest's hall

    Notre Dame sous Terre (Our Lady underground)
    The original spirtual center of the Mont (for Christians)
    The chapel, built around 966, was hidden within the abbey's foundations and rediscovered in the late XIXth century. This church was erectedat the very place of the oratory erected by Saint-Aubert in the early VIIIth century.
    Visiting the church is could be received as an emotionnal step back in the vestiges of Saint-Aubert's sanctuary

    Warning: Notre Dame sous terre visit requires a guided tour

    The cloister The abbey Details The original heart: Our Lady underground The architectural mastery
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    Abbey of Mont Saint Michel

    by codrutz Written Sep 30, 2008

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The heart of Mont Saint Michel is the abbey that tops the big rock. The abbey is very interesting inside - large columns, old style rooms, a nice large nave - as well as the terrace with the view it has.

    Was this review helpful?

  • black_mimi99's Profile Photo

    The Corner of the Abbey

    by black_mimi99 Updated Jan 13, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walk around this abbey a must thing to do, cos it will make you always amaze that Mont Saint-Michel was built on a strong rock that measures 84 meters high. It is pure granite and is so hard that it has resisted the passage of time.
    The church is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.

    a corner or the abbey - mi's

    Was this review helpful?

  • Take a FREE Guided Tour of the Abbey - Not to Miss

    by laurenkjones Written Jan 10, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you arrive by bus in the morning, make sure to get to the entrace of the abbey by 11:00 for 1 of 2 Guided Tours in English, the other is at 3:00. The tour is free with your entrance fee (8.50 Euro). The other option is an audio guide. Without one of these 2 things you are basically looking at big empty rooms saying, "Wow this is neat". The signs on the wall which explain the purpose of each room are in french. The English tour lasts about 1 hour and we enjoyed sticking with the group and listening to the explaination and then coming back for a 2nd pass to take our pictures and maybe take a few without tons of people standing in them. There is another tour that is in French which I was told was longer than the english and allowed you to see some rooms that were not open for the regular tour. If your French is halfway good and you want to see a little more, give it a try. Your entrance fee is good for 15 days, so you can come and go as you please throughout the day and if you happen to stay the night and miss the bus as we did (see dangers/ warnings) then you can use your ticket to enjoy a 2nd day of viewing.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Mont Saint Michel

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

25 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near The Abbey
3.5 out of 5 stars
3 Reviews
0 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
0 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
0 miles away
Show Prices

View all Mont Saint Michel hotels