Le Mont Saint-Michel in France
This is a bronze coloured, metal fridge magnet souvenir of Le Mont Saint-Michel in France. Le Mont Saint-Michel is located in Lower Normandy, France. The population of the island is 44, as of 2009. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times, and since the eighth century AD been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. One of France's most recognisable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and more than 3 million people visit it each year. Mont Saint-Michel was previously connected to the mainland via a tidal causeway, a trackway covered at high tide and revealed at low tide. This connection has been altered over the centuries. The coastal flats have been reclaimed to create pastureland, thus the distance between the shore and the south coast of Mont Saint-Michel has decreased, and the Couesnon River has been canalised, reducing the dispersion of the flow of water, and thereby encouraging a silting-up of the bay. In 1879, the tidal causeway was converted into a raised or dry causeway. This prevented the tide from scouring the silt around the mount.
Repairing TheTidal Causeway
On 16 June 2006, the French prime minister and regional authorities announced a EUR164 million project (Projet Mont-Saint-Michel) to build a hydraulic dam using the waters of the river Couesnon and of tides to help remove the accumulated silt deposited by the rising tides, and to make Mont Saint-Michel an island again. It was projected to be completed by 2015. The construction of the dam began in 2009 and is now complete. The project also included the removal of the causeway and its visitor car-park. It will be replaced by a light bridge, allowing the waters to flow freely around the island, which will improve the efficiency of the now operational dam, and a replacement car-park on the mainland. Visitors will use small shuttles to cross the future bridge which will still be open to pedestrians and unmotorised vehicles. Mont Saint-Michel was the inspiration for the design of Minas Tirith in the 2003 film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and is a playable multiplayer map in the video game Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.