Saint-Malo was founded in the 1st century BC a short distance south of its current location.
The citizens of Saint-Malo have traditionally displayed a fiercely independent spirit which over the centuries has found them in and out of conflict with the rulers of Brittany, France and England. Nobody typified this more than the city's sailor merchants who grew wealthy from pillaging foreign ships out in the channel. In 1403, during the Hundred Years War, they even ventured as far as raiding Plymouth and Yarmouth on the English coast.The corsairs of the 17th/18th centuries acted as official pirates. The King of France granted them licence to go "coursing" after enemy vessels in return for a percentage of the profit from captured ships, hence the name corsairs.
The city was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. Nearly 30 years of painstaking reconstruction has returned Saint-Malo to its former glory and transformed it into one of the most popular places to visit in Brittany.
Francie Stoutamire Photography