Saint Malo lies at the Emerald Coast at the Channel in the north of Brittany at the mouth of the river Rance. The river is divided by the largest tidal power plant in Europe, with a capacity of 240 MW.
By 2011 it was the largest in the world. On the opposite riverbank is seaside resort of Dinard.
Under the walls of the city lies the Gallo-Roman settlement Aleth, the first settlement in this area.
The monk Malo, the eponymous for Saint Malo, began the evangelization of the residents in the 6th century. Around 1140 the mighty city walls were built.
In the 16th century, the city gained a considerable prosperity by fishing and trading but also by piracy. Famous is the Corsair Robert Surcouf, who sat down with 35 years of peace. At the time, even its own republic was proclaimed.
About 85 percent of the walled city (intra muros, inside the city walls) of Saint Malo was destroyed by bombings in 1944. The reconstruction was carried out as true to the original as possible.
Today, Saint Malo is not only one of the most visited tourist sites in France, but also a successful industrial city, however, industry is only be found outside the city walls.
Our tour starts in the north of the city. During low tide you can reach the barrier island with its fortresses on foot. The tide is 12 m here and releases spacious sandy beaches at low tide.
Most of the shops and restaurants are in the eastern part. Here, the lanes are filled with tourists. A little market invites the people to watch the activities of artists and craftsmen.
Outside the city walls is the enclosed port, protecting the ships from the tides. Even wealthy Arabs dock with their impressive yachts here.
The smaller of the two luxury yachts also belongs to Dubai, even if she sails under a South African flag.
To the south lies the outer harbor. The mighty landing stages testify to the height of the tidal range, which is 12 m here.
It is noon and we watch the elderly, who play comfortably, however, full of enthusiasm “Boule bretonne”.
The western part of the city is predominantly used for residential purposes. The bathing beaches are outside the walls.
The only meadow of the city is decorated with a statue of Jacques Cartier.
The Maison de Quebec is a memorial place for Jacques Cartier, who set off from here to Newfoundland and founded Quebec.
The sunsets can be watched best from the city walls.
Past at the beautifully illuminated city hall we return to the tourist hurly-burly and look for a restaurant for dinner.
Tips for the walled city of Saint Malo
Travelers with a lot of luggage should ask for a lift before booking, unless you want to walk up and down three floors with your luggage.
The walled city (La ville Intra-Muros) is closed to traffic during the day. Many hotels have no, or very few narrow parking lots. Outside the city walls, there are large, metered parking. Ask the hotel for 24 hours tickets.
Next -> Jean-Paul Albert in Saint Malo
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