Saint- Malo ( Breton Sant Malou ) is a town with 45 201 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011) in Brittany in northwestern France in the department of Ille -et -Vilaine. Because of its historic center and its fortifications, it is one of the most visited tourist destinations in France.


Saint- Malo is located on the Côte d' Emeraude ( German: Emerald Coast ) in the north of Brittany, at the Rance River estuary in relation to the seaside resort of Dinard. The historic city center intra muros ( within the walls ) makes up about 20% of the total area of ​​the city and is washed on three sides by water.

In the Bay of Saint- Malo you can admire one of the largest tidal differences in Europe: up to twelve meters difference between low tide and high tide. Three of the offshore islands of Grand Bé, Petit Bé and the National Fort ( fortification by Vauban in 1689) are therefore accessible at low tide on foot. In the estuary of the Rance River is the largest tidal power plant by 2011 the world.

Coat of arms

Description: In red below a golden Flechtgitter and above a silver running ermine with a receding golden cloth on the collar.


Origin of the town was the Gallo- Roman settlement Aleth that was in front on an peninsula today 's St. Servan. Long the strategic location the inhabitants protected from intruders. In the 6th century Welsh monk Machutus, also Maclou or Maclovius began named, whose name was in French to Malo, with the missionary work of the inhabitants. Gradually the settlement began to grow and expand to the neighboring mainland. The patron saint and thus named the new city was part of the Holy Servan. In the 12th century increased the pressure on the settlement by raids of the Normans more and more. The northerly island, today "intra muros " seemed to offer the necessary protection. 1142 moved the bishop to the island, where he built a cathedral ( Saint -Vincent ). In the years following the construction of a mighty defensive walls, which gave the city, now called Saint- Malo, long -term safety and independence began.

Their heyday reached the city in the 16th century. Through fishing and trade became Saint- Malo prosperity. 1590 even own republic was proclaimed. This was the basis for the self-confidence of the inhabitants, the " Malouinen " (French Malouins ) called themselves. Feared was Saint- Malo in Dutch and English merchant ships, but the city was home to wild corsairs, led by Robert Surcouf, who went with his fast and maneuverable ship " Renard " ( fox ) on the prowl. He was so successful that he was able to retire with 35 years.

In August 1944, after the Allied landings in Normandy, Saint- Malo was destroyed about 85 percent by bombing, as the former garrison commander Colonel Andreas von Aulock refused to capitulate. Unlike other heavily damaged cities, Saint- Malo but tried a most faithful reconstruction, succeeded very well. Man leaning on to old plans and pictures of the city. In 1967 the neighboring villages of Saint -Servan and Paramé were incorporated.

Saint- Malo today

Today, Saint- Malo has about 54,300 inhabitants and is adjacent to a tourist (see also Rotheneuf ) is also an important industrial center. Industrial companies are all but "extra muros ", ie outside the (city) walls. In the coat of arms of the city is an ermine, goes with the arms coat over the city gate, and the motto of the city " semper fidelis " ( always faithful to itself). Since the inhabitants of Saint -Malo are very proud of their city, their motto is: " Ni Français, ni Breton, Malouin suis " (neither French, nor Breton, inhabitants of Saint- Malo I am).



Saint- Malo maintains twinning with Port Louis, the capital of the island nation of Mauritius and Gaspé in Quebec City, Canada.


1764 the first settlement was founded in the Falkland Islands under French rule of Louis Antoine de Bougainville. First settlers were sailors and fishermen from Saint- Malo to this the French name of the island group was - " Îles Malouines " created. The Argentine name Islas Malvinas goes back to the French name.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Jacques Cartier (1491-1557), who discovered Canada in 1534.
  • René Duguay- Trouin (1673-1736), corsair and freebooter
  • Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (1698-1759), mathematician, astronomer and philosopher
  • Bertrand François Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1699-1753), Admiral
  • Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751), French physician and philosopher
  • Marc -Joseph Marion du Fresne (1724-1773), French explorer
  • Joseph Quesnel (1749-1809), Canadian composer, writer and actor
  • François -René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848), politician and poet. His grave is located on the barrier island of Grand Bé.
  • François Broussais (1772-1838), physician
  • Robert Surcouf (1773-1827), corsair in the service of Napoleon.
  • Félicité de Lamennais (1782-1854), French priest and philosopher of religion
  • Jean Marie Constant Duhamel (1797-1872), mathematician and physicist
  • Martin Fourichon (1809-1884), Admiral and Naval Minister
  • Alain Cuny (1908-1994), actor

See also:

  • List of Bishops of Saint- Malo