Mont St Michel
Just a few kilometers north is the famous Mont St Michel, a romantic islet with a Gothic Flamboyant chancel on its peak. Over time, the sea around the islet has been clogged by silt from the rivers which flow into the estuary. UNESCO has stepped in and provided funds to clear the silt, replace the causeway with a tide friendly, low profile bridge and ensure that Mont St Michel is once again an islet surrounded by sea at high tide.
Parking therefore is now some distance from the islet, so you need a day to visit.
The islet is magnificent and the chancel, a place of pilgrimage since the 8th century, is the highlight. The Abbey Church, rebuilt in 1780 after the earlier nave was destroyed by a fire, sits atop the islet with a terrace view over the bay. Beside it is a beautiful cloister. Underneath the Abbey Church are crypts forming its foundations and a refectory and guest’s hall.
Saint Michael, head of heavenly militia, was of great importance to Medieval religion. A statue of St Michael sits on top of the belfry.
Mont St Michel is more than an Abbey. The tiny streets leading down to the Bavole Gate is full of Cafes and souvenir shops set in lovely half-timbered houses.
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Our last stop, before taking the ferry from Cherbourg to Poole on the south coast of England, was the village of Briqueville. We stayed in a delightful château in the middle of town and enjoyed a rather amazing dinner within the château.