A peek at the stunning spiritual treasure that is Mont Saint-Michel

Stuck at home, but love to sight-see? Take a quick tour through this historic and mystical French abbey, a spiritual wonder of the world.

Mont Saint-Michel UNESCO World Heritage Site, France. 

Traveling to France may not be within your reach this fall, but watching this recently released video on one of the country’s most stunning spiritual treasures certainly is. The short film below, made by Great Big Story, is a virtual trip to the island of Mont Saint-Michel. Located 650 yards off the coast of France’s Normandy region, this Benedictine abbey is architecturally astounding. So much so that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site—a true badge of honor for top-tier cultural spots around the globe—and one of the top tourist destinations in France. After all, a medieval island commune emerging from the bay isn’t exactly something you see every day. But Mont Saint-Michel, dedicated to the Archangel St. Michael, isn’t just a visual wonder; it’s a place with spiritual history, ripe for reflection.

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The abbey’s namesake, Archangel St. Michael, often appears in religious art alongside the Virgin Mary, who Catholics turn to during October, a Marian month and the Month of the Rosary. Saint Michael, who escorts the faithful to heaven, is also thought to be the angel who appeared to Mary shortly before her death. The tippy-top of Mont Saint-Michel—a spire 300 feet above the water—bears a striking statue of the archangel slaying a dragon, often used as an icon of Satan. Medieval artists often portrayed the conquest of sin, which was a Christian theme central to art and design of the period.

But these and other overtly religious details aren’t really what make Mont Saint-Michel such an inspiring setting. It’s about the abbey’s reflective environment. The island’s lapping waves, small-town charm (only 50 people live there!) and dreamy castle-like architecture will whisk you away from modern life. As you look out to where the bay and sky meet, it’s hard not to feel like you’re in celestial territory.

Who needs Facebook likes and retweets when you have a view like this one? All you need are your thoughts and maybe a loved one to join you as you soak in the serenity (even if only through your computer screen).

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