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The National Fort, St Mâlo, Brittany

The National Fort, St Mâlo, Brittany

Most British visitors drive off the ferries from Poole and Portsmouth and head southwards without giving St-Mâlo a second look. The walled town is beautiful and well preserved; well worth spending a few days exploring. St-Mâlo was a refuge for pirates and there are a number of museums devoted to its maritime history. The photos are of the National Fort, built by Vauban and Garangeau in 1689. It's only accessible on foot, at low tide, and has great views of the old town across the bay, which it protected from invaders.

Probably St-Mâlo's most famous sons are François-René de Chateaubriand, the writer; and Jaques Cartier. Cartier sailed west from here and claimed a new land for La Belle France; he gave the land he claimed the Huron name for ‘village’ – Canada.

View of the fort from the landward side

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