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Mont-Saint-Michel reclaims its island status

media French President Francois Hollande poses during a visit to Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

One of France’s most visited monuments, Mont-Saint-Michel, has now become an island again. French President Francois Hollande inaugurated a bridge on Saturday that restores the status of the famous site on France’s Northern coast as an island.

The gigantic project, which cost 209 million euros, allows the sea to surround the Mont Saint-Michel for almost half of the year.

Speaking on the occasion, Hollande praised the success of the project that was initiated a decade ago following a project study that lasted for 10 years.

Accorded the coveted World Heritage Site status by Unesco in 1979, Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most visited tourist sites in France, attracting an average of 2.5 million visitors each year.

Hollande, who was accompanied by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin, termed the abbey which was built in the ninth century as a “living image” of France.

“This is a natural pyramid topped by a cathedral. It is one of the highest places of European spirituality,” he said.

As a result of this project, the old causeway and the visitor car which was located at the base of the monument have been removed.

The new parking area is now 2.5 km away from the monument. Visitors can travel to the site either on foot or by using a shuttle service.

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