Mont-St-Michel originally began as an island back in prehistoric times but has shifted geographically over time to be partially connected to the rest of France by land.  It was originally settled by the Romans who thrived in the area until the middle of the fifth century.  Shortly after that, it was settled by the people of Amorica ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armorica) who ruled until the eighth century.

In the eighth century, the area became well known (and was given its name) for the religious experience of St. Aubert who is said to have seen Michael, the archangel, in a vision there.  It is said that St. Aubert ignored the visions of Michael until Michael proceeded to burn a hole through St. Aubert’s skull.  More information about this belief is online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Michael.

The period following this time was rich with building and arts in the area.  Growth continued, slowly but steadily, after that time.  The next major period of interest in the history of the area came in the nineteenth century when the area was primarily populated by monks and prisoners.  In the twentieth century, the area began to be recognized for all of its cultural and historical value, both socially and architecturally.  It has recently become a popular travel destination.

More information about the history of the area is online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Sai... .