The monastery on the island of Mont Saint-Michel appears to have changed little since its founding in 708. Strong tides protected the abbey during the wars that ravaged France. At high tide, the tidal island is surrounded by the cold, fast-moving waters of the North Atlantic. At low tide, the landmass rises from the beach. The island became a prison during the French Revolution, and today is a national monument.

Photograph by James L. Stanfield

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island
island Encyclopedic Entry

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An island is a body of land surrounded by water