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The stars of Mont Saint-Michel in a wild impressionist painting as seen from space

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In Science and Space: One of the most beautiful and famous monasteries in the world. The Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey rises above the medieval walls of a tidal island on France’s northwest coast, seeming to float above the crystal clear waters. surrounding bay. At least that’s what it looks like from the mainland, less than 800m away.

Most of the buildings and walls that stand there today date from the 11th to 16th centuries, the height of the island’s Benedictine monastery. However, there are some traces of early life as a sacred site dedicated to Archangel Michael in 708. These include early sublime examples of rib vaults and small Romanesque churches.

Seen from space, the Abbey’s walls and towers cast complete shadows over the bay in late autumn and winter, when the sun is low in the northern hemisphere skies. The above image, taken by the European Union’s Copernicus Sentinel 2 satellite on November 12, 2022, shows the monastery and islands and their dramatic winter shadows in a swirl of more intense colors. indicates that Vibrant greens indicate active agricultural areas, while pastel blues and purples represent the complexity of the currents of the shallow Bay of Saint-Michel. The tide level in the bay can vary by almost 50 feet (approximately 50 feet), and since 2014 has occasionally covered a modern bridge connecting the island to the mainland.

The monastery and the small villages around its base, as well as the island and surrounding bays, have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for over 40 years, and the fairytale setting has been the subject of countless postcards, screensavers, and at least his actual fairy tales. has inspired one version of Corona Castle in Disney’s Tangled movie is based on an island, and this isn’t the first time Mont-Saint-Michel has made an appearance in popular culture at the time. The abbey and its island are depicted in an 11th-century Bayeux tapestry as a landmark for William the Conqueror on his march from Normandy to Brittany.

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