The Mont Saint-Michel project, inaugurated in 2003, is designed to restore this glorious edifice, one of the most iconic images of France, to its original maritime setting. The initial phase, involving the construction of a dam across the Couesnon River to aid in reducing sedimentation around the island, is complete, and there are informative tours of the dam. The lightweight footbridge joining the Mont to the mainland is still under construction; it is scheduled for completion in 2014. Until then the old causeway will be preserved, allowing visitors to travel on foot, or on a horse-driven shuttle. The current maritime car parks, located on the flats surrounding the island, are still in operation but are as always subject to the tides for their availability. From 28 April 2012, the new inland car parks will be open: placed 2.5km from the Mont, and set amongst verdant trees and shrubs, they offer a delightful starting point for the visit. A new reception area and information services give a warm welcome; from there several different pedestrian routes offer differing perspectives on the famous profile of the Mont and the surrounding landscape, before joining the shuttle departure area by the dam.
© Dieter Basse
© C.H.P. Reiser