Saint-Malo. Source : ECPAD

The fortified city of Saint-Malo...

The fortifications of Saint-Malo encircle the enclosed part of the town for almost 2 km. From Saint Vincent Gate (which dates back to 1709) to the Saint Thomas Gate, each curtain is steeped in history and has a multitude of panoramic views over the Bay of Saint-Malo.

The fortifications of Saint-Malo have a particularly rich history. 1) The city only began to develop in the 12th century, with the fortifications dating back to medieval times. Saint-Malo was highly sought-after: under the reign of Duchess Anne, this town surrounded by ramparts was already a fortress. At the time of Jacques Cartier, the fortifications of Saint-Malo would be developed even more. The 17th and 18th centuries mark a period of great prosperity for the city, thanks to the healthy growth of commerce, and the city became even stronger. Vauban built new ramparts and many forts sprang up around the bay to defend the port. These fortifications would later help thwart the English landings of June and September 1758, at the time of the battle of Saint-Cast. 2) Saint-Malo is particularly badly hit in August 1944. Under orders from Hitler, Colonel Von Aulock transformed the glacis of Saint-Malo into a veritable fortress from 1942. For one week in August 1944, the city is caught in crossfire between German and American troops and is almost totally gutted by fire. 80% of the town is destroyed. Chateaubriand Square and the Magon de la Lande Hotel are the only districts that escape the flames. In fact, once the fire is finally extinguished, the only parts of the city still standing and almost completely intact are the 2km of ramparts.
This pirate city is the starting point of some of the most famous nautical competitions, such as the "Route du Rhum", and is renowned for its literary festivals, including "Etonnants Voyageurs" and "Quai des Bulles" and art festivals such as "Si Tous Les Ports du Monde". As well as hosting these important events, Saint-Malo is a town with a very special character where everyone can find the role that suits them best: spectator, actor, or just a person out for a stroll. Practical information Saint-Malo Tourism Office Esplanade Saint-Vincent, 35400 Saint-Malo Tel: +33 (0)8 25 16 02 00 Fax: +33 (0)2 99 56 67 00 E-mail:

  • Les fortifications de Saint-Malo. Source : ECPAD

  • Vue de Saint-Malo. Source : ECPAD

  • Donjon. Source : Ville de Saint-Malo Les remparts. Source : Ville de Saint-Malo