S aint-Malo has often been compared to a big ship waiting to set sail on the open sea. Nothing could be more appropriate. The city walls make up the hull, with the crenelated battlements as portholes and the church spire rising above it like the main mast. Saint Malo's flag ("A white cross on Azur") proudly flies from the castle dungeon. Ever since its foundation, the city's fortunes have been linked to the sea and the daily ebb and flow of some of the most powerful tides in the world. Saint Malo has always been true to its past and maintains its seafaring tradition : the city's fishermen and seamen sail the seven seas and its thriving sea port is open to the world. The City has also become an international sailing centre, home to thousands of boats and the initiator of several cross Channel or transatlantic races involving world famous sailors. Every year, Saint-Malo's unique location and atmosphere attract visitors from all over the world. In summer, thousands of holidaymakers flock to the city for its beaches, its bracing sea air and all the pleasures of a seaside resort. But the best time to experience the city's true spirit is in the Spring or Autumn, when things are a little quieter. Saint Malo is an open history book. People have lived within these granite walls since the 12th century. This is the birthplace of explorers like Jacques CARTIER, who took possession of Canada in 1534 in the name of the King of France, of intrepid buccaneers like DUGUAY-TROUIN, or of SURCOUF, Napoleon's master mariner.
T he city saw the birth of many other great names, including writers like CHATEAUBRIAND or LAMENNAIS, and scientists like BROUSSAIS or MAUPERTUI. But Saint Malo's history is also that of the anonymous inhabitants who broke the siege of the Mont Saint Michel during the Hundred Years War, who proclaimed the Republic during the Civil Wars of the 16th century or who rebuilt their city magnificently after it was destroyed in World War II. SAINT MALO, the seabound city, is a city of history and culture, and this remarkable tale is constantly retold by its streets and alleyways, its walls, its cathedral, its castle and its outstanding museums, Jacques Cartier's Manor House or the Solidor Tower. "I know of nothing more beautiful than the SAINT MALO roadstead and the RANCE estuary" said CHARCOT, the French explorer who had travelled the world over. Today, SAINT MALO's "ordinary citizens" to use Gustave FLAUBERT's phrase, try their very best to help you share that same feeling at the end of your stay.
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