Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Thu March 26 2015

French Landmark Mont Saint-Michel Enveloped by Supertide

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | March 26, 2015

French Landmark Mont Saint-Michel Enveloped by Supertide

Photo via Twitter

Northern France's Mont Saint-Michel has been around so long that not even the "tide of the century" could wash it away.

Last week's solar eclipse and supermoon triggered a record-breaking 42-foot tide that turned the commune and landmark, which is connected to the French mainland only by a narrow causeway, into its very own island, according to the Associated Press

Boasting a population of roughly 50, the tidal island has been around since ancient times and is among the country's most popular tourist attractions, welcoming as many as three million visitors each year.

This past weekend, though, thousands of tourists visited the site to witness the remarkable event, which only occurs every 18 years. 

Here's a look at how high the tide rose via ABC News on Twitter: 

"This natural phenomenon is an incredible opportunity for tourism in Brittany at this time of year," said regional tourism committee director Michael Dodds via

"It's been a long time since we've seen Mont Saint-Michel surrounded by the sea" said local Wilfred James. "I was born in this region and I never saw it like this."

Prior to last week's supertide, the most recent one occurred in March 1997. The next supertide is expected in March 2033. 

Situated between Normandy and Brittany, Mont Saint-Michel and its surrounding bay are on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. The Gothic-style abbey, known as the "Wonder of the West," was believed to have been constructed sometime between the 11th and 16th centuries. 

This past Saturday, the abbey remained open until 10 p.m. local time to accommodate anyone in danger of the rising tide. 

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