Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy, France
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The Mont-Saint-Michel, crowned by a beautiful Romanesque-Gothic abbey, is one of France’s most stunning sites. Located just off the country's north-west coast, the small island commune is set in a bay shared by Normandy and Brittany, about one kilometre from French mainland, which is connected by a bridge.
Today's visitors are following in the footsteps of pilgrims who for centuries travelled across Europe to pray at the sacred site. According to legend, the local bishop of Avranches built a chapel on this rock in 708 after the archangel St Michael visited him in a dream. Now the island is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its permanent population is fewer than 50 people, including about a dozen monks and nuns, but more than three million visitors cross over to the island most years.