A Brief History of Saint Malo:
Saint Malo is the walled sea port located in old province of Brittany in North western France. It is thus on the lower end of English channel. To the north, about 40 miles away, lies the Jersey, the nearest of the Channels Islands, while on the west there are restless tides of the broad Atlantic. It was founded by Gauls in 1st century BC. It’s considered as most important northern french port and a major tourist attraction of Brittany. Historically, people of St. Malo loved their autonomy and it was not part of french regime rather a part of Brittany. However, From 1590 to 1593, for a period of 3 years they remained independent from Brittany as well.
Modern city was founded, as traditions tell us, by St. Aaron,a pilgrim who landed there with his disciples in the year 507 AD, and sought shelter upon the sea-girt promontory which has since borne the name of Aaron’s Rock. About 20 years later, a bishop of caste Gwent with a small band of followers came to this place. St. Malo was the leader of this flock and the city got its name from him.
In the Middle Ages
But the religious character soon passed away. Saint Malo became head quarters of corsairs of the northern coast. They had succeeded against the Vikings of earlier days, and they showed a hardihood and a reckless daring equal to that of their predecessors. Later on, in more settled times, the place fell into hands of fishermen and traders of northern France. When hardy sailors pushed out into the Atlantic ocean to reach the distant shores of America, St. Malo became a natural port and place of outfit for the passage of the western sea.
In the middle ages, St. Malo was a walled border between Brittany and France. This city for also known for privateering in past where in 17th/18th century king of France granted them permission after getting a certain percentage from every expedition. This made the town wealthy.
In World War II, American and British bombing almost destroyed the city. Later on, it took 12 years to rebuild the city.
Famous Personalities of Saint Malo:
Out of the famous personalities of St. Malo,Jacques Cartier is most renowned due to his discovery of Canada. He was born on 1491 and served as a master-pilot in the service of His most Christian Majesty Francis I of France. He died in St. Malo in 1557.
Places to visit in St. Malo:
- Cité d’Aleth (A walkaway with panaromic views of the Rance estuary, solidor harbour and old walled architecture of town )
- Tour Solidor (The idea to build this is to control St. Malo but later on it converted into prison. It is now museum to serve)
- Manoir de Limoëlou (The only remaining legacy of Jacques Cartier)
- Les rochers sculptés (For people interested in Sculptures)
- Grand bé and petit bé islands (Small islands)
- Fort National (A building to defend St. Malo port)
- Tidal Energy plant of the rance estuary(An energy plant to generate electricity)
- The beaches of Saint-Malo