Saint-Malo (săN-mälōˈ) [key], town (1990 pop. 49,274), Ille-et-Vilaine dept., NW France, on the English Channel. Built on a rocky promontory, Saint-Malo is a fishing port and one of the great tourist centers of Brittany. The major industries are deep-sea fishing, printing, machinery manufacturing, and boatbuilding. There is regular ferry service to the Channel Islands in the summer. A Welsh monk built a monastery nearby in the 6th cent., and in the 9th cent. refugees fleeing Norman raids on nearby Saint-Servan settled at the site of the present-day Saint-Malo. The town was made a part of France in 1491; it became a prosperous commercial seaport in the 1500s. Between the 17th and 19th cent., French corsairs operated out of Saint-Malo, despite repeated English efforts to destroy the port and corsair fleet. Saint-Malo is famous for its ramparts and its 17th-century architecture. Points of interest include the main gate to the city (15th cent.), a château (15th cent.) that is now a municipal museum, and an open-air aquarium. In World War II, German forces, retreating before the U.S. army, set the city ablaze. In 1966 a tidal-power station, harnessing the energy from the channel's high tides, was opened. The nearby towns of Saint-Servan and Paramé were annexed by Saint-Malo in 1967. The city was the birthplace of Jacques Cartier and François Chateaubriand, whose tomb is near the harbor.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.