The Mont Saint Michel Abbey is located within the city and island of Mont-Saint-Michel in Lower Normandy, in the department of Manche. The abbey is an essential part of the structural composition of the town the feudal society constructed. On top God, the abbey and monastery, below this the Great halls, then stores and housing, and at the bottom, outside the walls, fishermen and farmers housing. The abbey has been protected as a French monument historique from 1862. From 1979 the site as a whole, the Mont Saint-Michel and its bay, has been a UNESCO world heritage site and is managed by the Centre des monuments nationaux. With more than 1.335 million visitors in 2010, the abbey is among the most visited cultural sites in France.