Saint-Malo

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Saint-Malo
Saent-Malô
Walled city
Walled city
Flag of Saint-Malo
Flag
Coat of arms of Saint-Malo
Coat of arms
Saint-Malo is located in France
Saint-Malo
Saint-Malo
Coordinates: 48°38′53″N 2°00′27″W / 48.6481°N 2.0075°W / 48.6481; -2.0075Coordinates: 48°38′53″N 2°00′27″W / 48.6481°N 2.0075°W / 48.6481; -2.0075
Country France
Region Brittany
Department Ille-et-Vilaine
Arrondissement Saint-Malo
Canton Saint-Malo-Nord and Saint-Malo-Sud
Intercommunality Saint-Malo
Government
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Claude Renoult
Area
 • Land1 36.58 km2 (14.12 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Population2 47,045
 • 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.

Population[edit]

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).

The population of the commune more than doubled in 1968 with the merging of three communes: Saint-Malo, Saint-Servan (population 14,963 in 1962), and Paramé (population 8811 in 1962).

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1793 10,730 —    
1800 9,147 −14.8%
1806 9,934 +8.6%
1821 9,949 +0.2%
1831 9,981 +0.3%
1836 9,744 −2.4%
1841 10,053 +3.2%
1846 10,076 +0.2%
1851 9,997 −0.8%
1856 10,809 +8.1%
1861 10,886 +0.7%
1866 10,693 −1.8%
1872 12,316 +15.2%
1876 10,295 −16.4%
1881 11,212 +8.9%
1886 10,500 −6.4%
1891 11,896 +13.3%
1896 11,476 −3.5%
1901 11,486 +0.1%
1906 10,647 −7.3%
1911 12,371 +16.2%
1921 12,390 +0.2%
1926 13,137 +6.0%
1931 12,864 −2.1%
1936 13,836 +7.6%
1946 11,311 −18.2%
1954 14,339 +26.8%
1962 17,137 +19.5%
1968 42,297 +146.8%
1975 45,030 +6.5%
1982 46,347 +2.9%
1990 48,057 +3.7%
1999 50,675 +5.4%
2009 47,045 −7.2%
2011 51,390 +9.2%

Inhabitants of Saint-Malo are called Malouins in French.

History[edit]

Old map of Saint-Malo

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".[1]

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.

In August 1944, the historic walled city of Saint Malo was almost totally destroyed by fire.[citation needed]

Saint Malo was rebuilt over a 12 year period from 1948-1960.

The commune of Saint-Servan was merged, together with Paramé, and became the commune of Saint-Malo in 1967.

Saint Malo was the site of an Anglo-French summit in 1998 which led to a significant agreement regarding European defence policy.

Food[edit]

Saint-Malo has one of the highest concentration of restaurants in Europe.[citation needed] It is famous for its oysters from the nearby town of Cancale.[citation needed]

Transport[edit]

Saint-Malo is a terminal for ferry services to Poole, Portsmouth and Weymouth in England via the Channel Islands.[2][3] 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[edit]

Beach at low tide in Saint-Malo
Saint-Malo

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


Panoramic view from the tidal island Grand Bé during low tide
View of the walled city from the south-west

Personalities[edit]

Saint-Malo was the birthplace of:

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Saint-Malo is twinned with:

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ S. et J. Beaulieu, Saint Malo et l'histoire, p 10 to 32
  2. ^ "St. Malo destination guides". Condor Ferries. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  3. ^ "Portsmouth – St Malo". Brittany Ferries. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "International collaboration". gmiezno.eu. Gniezno. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 

External links[edit]