The island of Mont-Saint-Michel is built from blocks of granite or granulite. Le Mont-Saint-Michel was previously connected to the mainland via a thin natural land bridge, which before modernization was covered at high tide and revealed at low tide.
Before the construction of the first monastic establishment in the 8th century, the island was called "monte tombe". According to legend, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, in 708 and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet. Aubert repeatedly ignored the angel''s instruction, until St. Michael burned a hole in the bishop''s skull with his finger.
The island also appears on the Bayeux Tapestry, which commemorates the 1066 Norman conquest of England.
The Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979.