|Canton||Saint-Malo-Nord and Saint-Malo-Sud|
|• Mayor (2014-2020)||Claude Renoult|
|• Land1||36.58 km2 (14.12 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||35288 / 35400|
|Elevation||0–51 m (0–167 ft)
(avg. 8 m or 26 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Saint-Malo (French pronunciation: [sɛ̃.ma.lo]; Gallo : Saent-Malô; Breton: Sant-Maloù) is a walled port city in Brittany in northwestern France on the English Channel. It is a sub-prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine.
Traditionally with an independent streak, Saint-Malo was in the past notorious for piracy. Today it is a major tourist destination, with many ancient, attractive buildings.
The population can increase to up to 200,000 in the summer tourist season. With the suburbs included, the population is about 153,000 (2011).
Inhabitants of Saint-Malo are called Malouins in French.
Saint-Malo during the Middle Ages was a fortified island at the mouth of the Rance River, controlling not only the estuary but the open sea beyond. The promontory fort of Aleth, south of the modern centre in what is now the Saint-Servan district, commanded approaches to the Rance even before the Romans, but modern Saint-Malo traces its origins to a monastic settlement founded by Saint Aaron and Saint Brendan early in the 6th century. Its name is derived from a man said to have been a follower of Brendan, Saint Malo or Maclou.
St. Malo is the setting of Marie de France's poem "Laustic", an 11th-century love story. Saint-Malo had a tradition of asserting its autonomy in dealings with the French authorities and even with the local Breton authorities. From 1590–1593, Saint-Malo declared itself to be an independent republic, taking the motto "not French, not Breton, but Malouins".
Saint-Malo became notorious as the home of the corsairs, French privateers and sometimes pirates. In the 19th century this "piratical" notoriety was portrayed in Jean Richepin's play Le flibustier and in César Cui's eponymous opera. The corsairs of Saint-Malo not only forced English ships passing up the Channel to pay tribute, but also brought wealth from further afield. Jacques Cartier, who sailed the Saint Lawrence River and visited the sites of Quebec City and Montreal – and is thus credited as the discoverer of Canada, lived in and sailed from Saint-Malo, as did the first colonists to settle the Falklands – hence the islands' French name Îles Malouines, which gave rise to the Spanish name Islas Malvinas.
In 1758 the Raid on St Malo saw a British expedition land intending to capture the town. However the British made no attempt on St Malo, and instead occupied the nearby town of St Servan where they destroyed 30 privateers before departing.
Saint Malo was the site of an Anglo-French summit in 1998 which led to a significant agreement regarding European defence policy.
Saint-Malo has one of the highest concentration of restaurants in Europe. It is famous for its oysters from the nearby village of Cancale.
Saint-Malo is a terminal for ferry services to Poole, Portsmouth and Weymouth in England via the Channel Islands. It also has a railway station, Gare de Saint-Malo, offering direct TGV service to Rennes, Paris and several regional destinations. There is a bus service provided by Keolis. The town is served by the Dinard–Pleurtuit–Saint-Malo Airport around 5 kilometres (3 miles) to the south.
Sites of interest
Now inseparably attached to the mainland, Saint-Malo is the most visited place in Brittany. Sites of interest include:
- The walled city (La Ville Intra-Muros)
- The château of Saint-Malo, part of which is now the town museum.
- The Solidor Tower in Saint-Servan is a 14th-century building that holds a collection tracing the history of voyages around Cape Horn. Many scale models, nautical instruments and objects made by the sailors during their crossing or brought back from foreign ports invoke thoughts of travel aboard extraordinary tall ships at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
- The tomb of the writer Chateaubriand on the Ile du Grand Bé
- The Petit Bé
- The Cathedral of St. Vincent (Saint-Malo Cathedral)
- The Privateer's House ("La Demeure de Corsaire"), a ship-owner's town house built in 1725, shows objects from the history of privateering, weaponry and ship models.
- The Great Aquarium Saint-Malo, one of the major aquaria in France.
- The labyrinthe du Corsaire, (an attraction park in Saint Malo)
- The Pointe de la Varde, Natural Park.
- The City of Alet, in front of Saint Malo Intra Muros.
- Fort National
- Fort de la Conchée
Saint-Malo was the birthplace of:
- Jacques Cartier (1491–1557), explorer of Canada
- Philippe Cattiau (1892–1962), Olympic medalist in fencing
- Jacques Gouin de Beauchene (1652–1730), explorer of the Falkland Islands
- René Duguay-Trouin (1673–1736) French corsair and Admiral who captured the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1711
- Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (1698–1759), mathematician and astronomer
- Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1699–1753), sailor and administrator
- Joseph Quesnel (1746-1809), Canadian poet, composer and playwright
- François-René de Chateaubriand (1768–1848), writer and diplomat
- Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne (1724–1772), explorer
- Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709–1751), physician and philosopher
- Robert Surcouf (1773–1827), sailor, trader, ship-owner and corsair
- Hughes Felicité Robert de Lamennais (1782–1854), priest, philosophical and political writer
- Louis Duchesne (1843–1922), historian, French academician
- Alfred Blunt (1879-1957), Anglican Bishop of Bradford, England, was born at St Malo of British expatriate parents and brought up there until the family returned to England in 1887.
- Colin Clive (1900–1937), actor
- Louis de Grandpré (1761-1846) French Navy officer and slave trader
Twin towns – Sister cities
Saint-Malo is twinned with:
- Port-Louis, Mauritius (1999)
- Gaspé, Quebec, Canada (2009)
- Saint-Malo, Quebec, Canada
- St. Malo, Manitoba, Canada
- Cowes, Isle of Wight, Great Britain
- Gniezno, Poland
- S. et J. Beaulieu, Saint Malo et l'histoire, p 10 to 32
- "St. Malo destination guides". Condor Ferries. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- "Portsmouth – St Malo". Brittany Ferries. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
- Ripley, George and Dana, Charles Anderson (2010). The New American Cyclopaedia: A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge 8. Nabu Press. pp. 410–411. ISBN 978-1146913317.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saint-Malo.|
- Town hall's website (French)
- French Ministry of Culture list for Saint-Malo (French)
- Public transport of Saint-Malo (French)
- Saint-Malo France Independent travel guide to the historic city of Saint-Malo. (English)