On a rocky islet between Normandy and Brittany, surrounded by vast mudflats with one of the most spectacular tides of the world, rises “the wonder of the Western world” – Saint-Michel-au-Péril-de-la-Mer. The Benedictine Abbey, founded in 966, was built on the site of a sanctuary which had been dedicated to the Archangel Michael since 708. The village nestles behind the ramparts protecting the island. The construction of the Abbey between the 11th and 16th centuries had to adapt to the specific difficulties of the site; this technical and artistic tour de force produced an incomparable site.
Criterion (i): The association of the natural site and the architecture of the Mont-Saint-Michel constitute a unique aesthetic achievement.
Criterion (iii): The Mont-Saint-Michel site as a whole is incomparable, due to the coexistence of the Abbey and the fortified village on the restricted island space, and the breath-taking skyline produced by the unique design of the buildings of this outstanding witness of mediaeval civilization.
Criterion (vi). A sanctuary with difficult access, typical of places of worship dedicated to Saint Michael, a popular pilgrimage destination throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, and the seat of a Benedictine Abbey with powerful intellectual influence; all these features make the Mont-Saint-Michel one of the major sites illustrating some of the most characteristic aspects of mediaeval Christian civilization.