Saint-Malo - (Sant-Maloù) - Brittany, FranceSaint-Malo ( In 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.
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Saint-Malo, Brittany, France
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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.
HISTORY: 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".
Saint-Malo became notorious as the home of thecorsairs, French privateers and sometimespirates. In the 19th century this "piratical" notoriety was portrayed in Jean Richepin's playLe 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 ofQuebec 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