Culture & Travel1 February 2022
In this article, let’s talk about the Lord of the Rings movie, which has been famous since the past with its unique fiction beyond time. The Lord of the Rings, which brings its fans to the screen with excitement every time, definitely has a legendary past in the field of fantasy adventure. The book is one of the best-selling books ever written, with more than 150 million copies sold. The fiction, which takes place in a place far from the past called Middle Earth, opens the doors of a legend in the world of Hobbits to its audience.
Of course, since we are talking about fiction, it should not be difficult to guess that many places we see in the movie series are also set areas. Some of these places don’t even really exist. Without a doubt, the most magnificent of these miniature fiction sets is Minas Tirith! Well, have you ever thought about where the inspiration came from when designing Minas Tirith?
The place that inspired and actually exists is the Mont Saint-Michel Castle in France! Definitely, let’s get to know this castle, which is a uniquely beautiful structure, a little more, shall we? Here is a brief introduction to the Mont Saint-Michel Castle, which will be one of the routes on your next trip to France!
The Unique Structure and History of Mont Saint-Michel Castle
As one of France’s most popular tourist destinations, it welcomes around 3.5 million visitors a year. With a history of almost a thousand years, the castle is like an iconic island city. Formerly Mont-Tombe has a pilgrimage center and a Benedictine Abbey. This small island commune off the coast of Normandy covers just 240 acres and has been a UNESCO Heritage Site since 1979. On the other hand, its unique architectural structure represents the feudal hierarchy practiced at that time: the god at the top, then the monastery, then the great halls and the shops and residences below, and the fisherman and farmer’s dwellings almost outside the walls at the bottom.
Although it’s the center of attention of tourists, keep in mind that this place is not actually a tourism center and is home to about 50 people residing in the monastery. It’s known that monks and nuns lived in the monastery. If you’re on your lucky day, you may witness religious ceremonies in the monastery or choirs with beautiful voices.
Mont Saint-Michel Castle and Sights
Entrance to the Mont Saint-Michel Castle is free, and this is a place that will offer you a unique sightseeing experience with its unique charms. You can take in the surrounding village and the wonderful scenery or go on a historical journey to visit the museums, churches and of course the monastery at the top. Let’s not go without saying that the entrance to the monastery is €10, but it is worth it. On the Grande Rue, on the way to the monastery, the parish church of Saint-Pierre, which houses a unique silver statue dedicated to Hagia Sophia, is worth seeing. If you want to learn about the exquisite nature and ecological structure of the island, you can visit the Maritime Museum.
Speaking of the nature of the island, we would say don’t leave without seeing Porte Echauguette and Terrasse de I’Quest, which offers a unique panorama over the bay, to witness the perfect views of the coast and take a pleasant walk along the Abbey Walls. You can also add Barrage sur le Couesnon to your itinerary for a short picnic or viewing the scenery. Finally, the streets of La Grande Rue, where you’ll find yourself in the middle of a French town, are also the right addresses for those who want to feel the local atmosphere!
Accommodation and Food & Beverage
When planning a trip here, it’s important to remember that you’re going to an island and it has the appropriate facilities. If you’re taking a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel Castle, which doesn’t offer many opportunities for accommodation and eating and drinking, we think that you’ll not have much difficulty. Of course, we can recommend some accommodation places for this destination on the border of Brittany and Normandy regions. If you’re planning to stay after the sweet tiredness of this trip, spend a wonderful evening by the sea in Brittany’s capital city of Rennes or the seaside town of Saint-Malo an hour away. Moreover, we would like to mention that there are several hotels located on the Grande Rue, around the castle’s walls. Waking up to this unique structure sounds pretty fun!
When you look for a delicious meal after a great walk, we recommend that you think of the popular omelets and pancakes here. La Mere Poulard, where the island’s famous fluffy omelets are made and thought to be the best in the world, has been in service since 1888. Creperie La Cloche is one of the most visited places for crepes. These are not your only options; we must also say that there are various restaurants. If you want to consume the food you prepared instead of trying something local, you can spend your meal by having a picnic against the view at Barrage sur le Couesnon.
Bonus: Inspired by the Castle of Mont Saint-Michel
While preparing the adaptation of the Lord of the Rings series, a monastery castle that really existed and that had fascinated many for many years was considered. The Fortress of Mont Saint-Michel, on the desolate shores of northern France, was chosen as a wonderful inspiration for Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, with its mysterious world. This castle, which looks like something out of a fairy tale world, appeared not only in The Lord of the Rings but also in several Disney productions such as “Tangled” and “Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers.” Also, this magnificent castle was the inspiration for Assassin’s Creed, Dark Souls, and many more video games.