With fortifications built on a small rocky island in the Middle Ages, Mont-Saint-Michel is an incredible and almost magical place.
And as one of us is a Harry Potter fan, the connections between the 2 worlds were immediate.
Here are our 10 “Harry Potter moments” at Mont-Saint-Michel.
BEFORE OUR TIPS + PHOTOS
HERE ARE OUR favorites
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Our favorite places to stay:
On theisland: Hôtel Auberge Saint-Pierre – see photos and availability
At the end of the bridge: Hotel Mercure – see photos and availability
In the countryside: B&B Le Clos Saint Gilles – see photos and availability
In a castle 30min away: Château de La Ballue – see photos and availability
A Harry Potter atmosphere at Mont-Saint-Michel (but not a link)
No official link between Harry Potter and Mont-Saint-Michel
- The Mont-Saint-Michel was not a filming location for the Harry Potter movie.
- J.K. Rowling never mentioned Mont-Saint-Michel as a source of inspiration.
And yet, a visit to Mont-Saint-Michel will take you to a world that will remind you of this enchanting world.
Here are 10 moments that reminded us of the adventures of the young wizard.
1. Main Street / Diagon Alley
The most obvious in this comparison is the Grande Rue, the main street of the village of Mont-Saint-Michel.
It is narrow with lots of stores and houses that lean towards the middle of the street.
This is because when they were built, the tax depended on the floor space occupied. So people built the taller floors.
However, at night, this same street can also remind you of the dark magic part of the wizard village: The path to the dark magic part: Knockturn Alley.
2. Abbey on the rocks / Hogwarts
Then the abbey which is located at the top of the Mont-Saint-Michel, which some people call castle, is really reminiscent of Hogwarts.
Although the official inspiration for the school of wizards is based on different castles including Durham Castle.
But all the same, this abbey, surrounded by rocks, illuminated at night, could really remind us of Hogwarts.
And here it is in the daytime:
A MAGICAL EXPERIENCE AT Mont-Saint-Michel
Step 2: Decide on your program
- Best things to do at Mont-Saint-Michel
- Mont Saint-Michel Abbey Tower
- The museums of Mont-Saint-Michel
- Where to eat at Mont-Saint-Michel
- Visit Alligator Bay
- Visit the Avranches Scriptorial Museum
- Discover the most beautiful views of Mont-Saint-Michel
3. The houses in all directions / the Burrow and Hogsmeade
The whole village is a labyrinth.
The houses are nested in each other. Their roofs are made of wooden tiles.
And they are leaning.
It is reminiscent of Hogsmeade, the all-wizarding village.
And just past the fortification gates, one of the houses really made us think of the Burrow, the Weasley house. It’s not as rickety, but it’s weird with a passage underneath.
4. Pigeons / owls
We did not see any owls around the Mont-Saint-Michel.
But after spending an exceptional night on the island, in the early morning, we saw pigeons all lined up on the ramparts.
They were sunbathing while waiting to start their day.
We immediately thought of the owls that carry the mail in Harry Potter and had a good laugh.
We strongly recommend you to spend a night on the Mont-Saint-Michel, intramuros. It is an unforgettable experience – see our article
WHERE TO STAY AT Mont-Saint-Michel
Or sleep in the part called La Caserne which is between the parking lots and the footbridge to Mont-Saint-Michel.
- Mercure 4-starhotel – see prices, photos and availability
The Normandy countryside is very green and inspiring. At the bend in the forest or in the fields, pretty villages with beautiful buildings transport you to another world, or even another era.
5. The cloister
Several scenes from Harry Potter are filmed as the students move through a cloister.
It is the very ornamental one of the Gloucester Cathedral.
And at times, we see them outside along a cloistered corridor, but above the void, looking out over the landscape.
The cloister of the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel gives a bit the same impression.
It is said that it was built to make the connection between sky and sea.
There is even a window to look out to the bay.
The landscapes are very different because there are no mountains or greenery, but there is still this impression of great emptiness.
6. The refectory
This one is a bit of a stretch, we’ll give you that.
The Hogwarts dining hall is far more impressive and majestic.
But there are still large common tables, pillars on each side.
Moreover, the ceiling is a paneled framework that could make one think of a magical sky. Not stars but still, it is not uniform.
7. Stairs in all directions
Just like in Hogwarts, the entire village of Mont-Saint-Michel has stairs in every direction.
This is especially true in the abbey. Wear good shoes because it goes up and down throughout the tour.
We don’t have access to every staircase, so our imagination marvels at it. Where does this lead? to the tower of Sibyl Trelawney who teaches divination? to the Gryffindors’ common room?
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8. The forbidden forest = the quicksand bay
No forest around the Mont-Saint-Michel.
The islet is in a bay where you can see the highest tides in Europe.
When the water recedes, all you see is sand.
But be careful, don’t venture out alone! Because there are quicksand areas all around.
If you want to discover this unique environment, you should book a guided tour.
There are tours that last between 1h30 and all day.
9. Quirrell’s classroom
In Book 2 of the Harry Potter book, the students meet several times in Professor Quirrell’s classroom. For the film adaptation, the scene was shot at Lacock Abbey.
This room is quite classic in many abbeys with vaulted ceilings.
The abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel also has 2 rooms that remind us of it:
- The guest room (pictured above) – it dates from the 13th century, with elegant vaults on crossbeams.
- The monks’ walkway with its Romanesque groin vaults falling on a spine of 5 columns (photo below).
10. Large chimneys (in several places)
In many scenes of Harry Potter, you can see big chimneys to move around (with the Chimney Powder) or in all the places of relaxation: the Cauldron, the Gryffindor common room, the refectory…
In several places on the Mont-Saint-Michel, you can also see very large chimneys.
Above, you have an example in the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel.
And below, if you sleep at the Auberge Saint Pierre in the village, you can discover the breakfast room which is magnificent: beams, wood panelling and a magnificent fireplace. A nice Harry Potter atmosphere, in our opinion.
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