Mont Saint-Michel, France. History, Travel and Tourism. Saint-Michel and its magnificent abbey are among France's most striking sights. The Abbey of Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, perches on the highest point of the rocky islet. Looking like a fortified castle surrounded by ancient walls and bastions, it is one of the most awe-inspiring Gothic churches ever built. At high tide, Mont Saint-Michel appears from afar as a mystical island with its Gothic spires soaring 155 meters above the sea; at low tide, it is possible to walk around the island. Legend has it that Archbishop Aubert of Avranches founded an abbey here in 708 after the Archangel Michael appeared to him in a vision, making this an important place of pilgrimage. Medieval pilgrims arrived by foot, crossing the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel……….