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Located less than a half-mile off the shores of Normandy, the tiny medieval town of Mont-Saint-Michel marks one of France’s most visited and famous landmarks. A Norman Benedictine abbey and monastery rise at the center of the island, creating a dramatic silhouette on the water. By demolishing the historic causeway and launching desilting operations, the French government hopes to transform the iconic pilgrimage site back to island form and to improve environmental conditions by preserving the effects of the now-blocked tidal waters.

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To further protect the landscape, the bridge will be closed to non-authorized motorized vehicles and force visitors to either walk the length of the bridge or take a shuttle bus. Unlike the old causeway, the elevated walkway is strategically curved to maximize views across the bay and the distant Tombelaine rock. Although the pedestrian bridge is now open to visitors, shuttles will not be available until the pathway’s official inauguration in November.

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Via Dezeen

Images via Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes