Saint-Malo

Etonnants Voyageurs Book Festival

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Etonnants Voyageurs Book Festival of St Malo has invited readers to travel through books in a port which has always been a base for deep sea travels and adventure. Founded in 1990 by travel writers Michel Le Bris, Brigitte Morin, Christian Rolland, Maëtte Chantrel and Jean-Claude Izzo, all of them keen travellers, the Festival is now visited by 60,000 persons each year. Exhibitions and awards are some of the events taking place in the world largest event dedicadte to travel litterature, set for the most part in the Duguay-Trouin Hall, bearing the name of one of St Malo's most celebrated sailors. Chef Olivier Roellinger and writer Chantal Pelletier also invite the visitors to a culinary journey.
A festival about travelling could not remain forever confined within the walls of St Malo. Etonnants Voyageurs has now migrated over several continents. After Bamako in 2000, Haiti, Haifa and Brazzaville have hosted their own editions.

Web sites

© Etonnants Voyageurs Festival of Saint-MaloNicolas Bouvier in 1987 - ©ErlingMandelmann.ch
8 previous stages
Sub-prefecture of Ille-et-Villaine (35)
Population: 51,000
Motto / Signature: “Neither French, nor Breton, Malouin I am” / Cité corsaire
Specialities: seafood, sausage pancakes, craquelins (biscuits) sheep, butter.
Economy: tourism, port, dairy, wood, textile.
Celebrities: François Rene de Chateaubriand (writer), Surcouf (privateer), Jacques Cartier (explorer), Leo Ferre (singer) , Daniel Gélin (actor).
Sport: sailing (Québec-Saint-Malo, Route du Rhum), CJF Handball, USSM (football), La Fleche d'Emeraude (cycling race)
Festivals: FETLYF (theatre with high school students), Jazz à l'étage (March), Courant d'Art, Classique au large (April), Etonnants voyageurs (literature) - Forum des Arts (MAy), SOLIDOR painting (June), International Festival of world dance and music (July), Route du Rock (August), Quai des Bulles (October).
Labels: Ville d'art et d'histoire, Station Nautique (****), Grand prix national du fleurissement (4)

Timeline

  • Roman era

    The river Rance draws its name from the locality of Reginca, in which lived a tribe know as the Corioslolites. Reginca became known as Alet and the Romans built a fotress on the spot. St Malo at the time was a fisherman's island opposite Alet.
  • 5t century

    Alet was depleted by Saxon raids and the region was only populated again when Bretons from Britain migrated overseas.
  • 6th century

    Landing on the site of a monk known as St MacLeod, McLaw or Maclou, who settled on Canalch, a small island then renamed rock of St Malo.
  • 621

    Death of St Malo à Saintes. His relics are lost.
  • 12th century

    The name Ker Malo gtadually replaces the name Alet, perhaps because the bishop see is transferred on the island of St Malo to be protected from Viking raids.
  • 1394

    St Malo is disputed by Brittany and France and it is handed to King Charles VI by Pope Clement VI before retunring to Brittany twenty years later.
  • 1491

    Birth of Jacques Cartier, the living example of the influence of St Malo sailors on the world seas in the 16th century.
  • 1493

    The town is annexed to France by Charles VIII, fourty years before the rest of Brittany.
  • 16th century

    Proclamation of the Republic of St Malo, only lasting four years.
  • 1673

    Birth of Rene Duguay-Trouin, one of the most famous St Malo privateers.
  • 1768

    Birth of Francois Rene de Chateaubriand.
  • 1773

    Birth of Robert Surcouf, the most celebrated St Malo privateer.
  • 1944

    In August the town is ravaged by American firebombs destroying 80 pc of the town.
  • 1948 to 1960

    St Malo is rebuilt thanks to plans by architect Louis Arretche.
Portrait of Jacques Cartier by Théophile Hamel, 1844,Statue of Surcouf on the rampart of Saint-Malo. Statue by Alfred Caravanniez (Saint-Nazaire, 1851 - Paris, 1917) - © Eusebius (Guillaume Piolle)American soldiers shoot at a German blockhaus, 1944.
8 previous stages
Sub-prefecture of Ille-et-Villaine (35)
Population: 51,000
Motto / Signature: “Neither French, nor Breton, Malouin I am” / Cité corsaire
Specialities: seafood, sausage pancakes, craquelins (biscuits) sheep, butter.
Economy: tourism, port, dairy, wood, textile.
Celebrities: François Rene de Chateaubriand (writer), Surcouf (privateer), Jacques Cartier (explorer), Leo Ferre (singer) , Daniel Gélin (actor).
Sport: sailing (Québec-Saint-Malo, Route du Rhum), CJF Handball, USSM (football), La Fleche d'Emeraude (cycling race)
Festivals: FETLYF (theatre with high school students), Jazz à l'étage (March), Courant d'Art, Classique au large (April), Etonnants voyageurs (literature) - Forum des Arts (MAy), SOLIDOR painting (June), International Festival of world dance and music (July), Route du Rock (August), Quai des Bulles (October).
Labels: Ville d'art et d'histoire, Station Nautique (****), Grand prix national du fleurissement (4)

Web sites

Saint-Malo and cycling

St Malo was the finish of seven Tour stages, most of the time won by sprinters, but the last visit of the Tour took place in 2008 for a stage going backwards to Nantes. Samuel Dumoulin had then taken the better off his breakaway companions, including Romain Feillu, who took the yellow jersey. While the first winner in St Malo, Ferdi Kubler, was a buccaneer of sorts, the Breton city usually favoured bunch sprints with wins by Andre Darrigade (1960), Walter Godefroot (1967) or Patrick Sercu (1974). The day after Darrigade's victory in 1960, a breakaway between St Malo and Lorient decided of the outcome of the edition. The stage was won by Roger Riviere, who would later crash and lose the Tour while Italy's Gastone Nencini was part of the winning breakaway and came too close to the yellow jersey to miss it.
In a much more remote past, a single edition of Paris – St Malo took place in 1894 but was never repeated. Among the riders originating from the town feature Andre Chalmel, a former teammate of Bernard Hinault.
Lastly, it is in in St Malo that Louison Bobet launched his first thalassotherapy centre in 1963.

Rouen/Saint-Malo stage in 1949, Jacques Marinelli leads the break, followed by Marcel Dupont, Ferdi Kubler, Pierre Tacca – ©Presse SportsPassage in Saint Maloin stage 3, Saint Malo/Nantes on Tour de France 2008.
8 previous stages
Sub-prefecture of Ille-et-Villaine (35)
Population: 51,000
Motto / Signature: “Neither French, nor Breton, Malouin I am” / Cité corsaire
Specialities: seafood, sausage pancakes, craquelins (biscuits) sheep, butter.
Economy: tourism, port, dairy, wood, textile.
Celebrities: François Rene de Chateaubriand (writer), Surcouf (privateer), Jacques Cartier (explorer), Leo Ferre (singer) , Daniel Gélin (actor).
Sport: sailing (Québec-Saint-Malo, Route du Rhum), CJF Handball, USSM (football), La Fleche d'Emeraude (cycling race)
Festivals: FETLYF (theatre with high school students), Jazz à l'étage (March), Courant d'Art, Classique au large (April), Etonnants voyageurs (literature) - Forum des Arts (MAy), SOLIDOR painting (June), International Festival of world dance and music (July), Route du Rock (August), Quai des Bulles (October).
Labels: Ville d'art et d'histoire, Station Nautique (****), Grand prix national du fleurissement (4)

Web sites

Places to see

Solidor Tower

It is a fortified keep composed of three towers located at the mouth of the river Rance. It was built between 1369 and 1382 by Duke John IV of Brittany to control Rance at a time when the town resisted his authority. The tower was built on a more ancient fortified site, possibly dating from the Gallo-Roman perdiod. It was later turned into a prison and is now a museum paying tribure to Cape Horn sailors.

Fort National island

The Fort National island is an island at high tide and a peninsula at low tide. The Fort National was built in 1689 by engineer Simeon Garrangeau from plans by Vauban on orders by King Louis XIV in the same time as the ramparts were consolidated.


International House of Poets and Writers

One of the rare houses to have survived to the great fire of 1661 and to the destruction of the city in 1944, it was built in the early 17th century by navy architects from timber taken from ships. It has been turned into a home for poets and writers, for meetings and debates, translation and writing workshops. The house also hosts the International Poetry Encounters in October and literary walks in the streets of St Malo.

Chateaubriand's grave  

On his death, the remains of Chatreaubriand were taken back to St Malo and buried, upon his wish, on the Grand Bé rock, a small island in the middle of the St Malo bay. It xan be accessed by foot when the tide is low.

Grand Aquarium

One of the greatest tourist attractions in Brittany.

Breakwaters

Built in oak from around 300 trees and six metres high, the breakwaters are scattered on the beach to protect the city in high tides and a re famous fixtures of the city.

Solidor tower - © Manuel ClauzierFort National island at high tide, seen from the ramparts of Saint-Malo - © Babinet DamienGrave of Chateaubriand with Fort national and Saint-Malo in the background - ©Philippe AlèsChaussée du Sillon in Saint-Malo at high tide - © LarzalierSaint-Malo, overall view - © Manuel Clauzier
8 previous stages
Sub-prefecture of Ille-et-Villaine (35)
Population: 51,000
Motto / Signature: “Neither French, nor Breton, Malouin I am” / Cité corsaire
Specialities: seafood, sausage pancakes, craquelins (biscuits) sheep, butter.
Economy: tourism, port, dairy, wood, textile.
Celebrities: François Rene de Chateaubriand (writer), Surcouf (privateer), Jacques Cartier (explorer), Leo Ferre (singer) , Daniel Gélin (actor).
Sport: sailing (Québec-Saint-Malo, Route du Rhum), CJF Handball, USSM (football), La Fleche d'Emeraude (cycling race)
Festivals: FETLYF (theatre with high school students), Jazz à l'étage (March), Courant d'Art, Classique au large (April), Etonnants voyageurs (literature) - Forum des Arts (MAy), SOLIDOR painting (June), International Festival of world dance and music (July), Route du Rock (August), Quai des Bulles (October).
Labels: Ville d'art et d'histoire, Station Nautique (****), Grand prix national du fleurissement (4)

Web sites

Chateaubriand's hometown

A city of privateers, St Malo is also the hometown of one of Fench literature most considerable figures, Francois Rene de Chateaubriand.
The son of a penniless aristocrat, Chateaubriand, born in 1768, was first taken away from his parents before his father's fortunes improved and allowed him to buy the Combourg castle in which the futrue writer spent a miserable childhood. The first eighteen years  of his life were spent in Brittany, between St Malo, Plancoet, Combourg, Dinan and Dol. Destined for the Navy, he was personally more inclined to become a priest or a poet. He made a reputation in Paris literary salons and wrote poetry for a renowned magazine L'Almanach des Muses. Running away from the Revolution he found refuge in the New World, travelling across North America for a year. Back in Europe he joined the army of the emigrates and was injured in the battle of Thionville. Exiled, he lived in misery in London and published his first book in Britain. Back in France in 1800 he started publishing his first masterpieces, Attala, Rene and  The genius of Christianism. Bonaparte launched his political career by sending him on a diplomatic mission in Rome. Yet Chateaubriand soon became one of the Emperor's harshest criics. Sucessive restorations saw him become ambassador in Swedne, Italy, Germany and Britain and he was ven briefly minister of Foreign Affairs. From 1830, elected the French Academy, he withdrew from politics and started work on his greatest work, Mémoires d'outre-tombe (Memories from beyond the grave). Upon his death in 1848, his body was brought back to St Malo and buried on the Grand Be rock, a small island in the St Malo bay.

Portrait of Chateaubriand by Anne-Louis Girodet en 1808Portrait of Chateaubriand by Anne-Louis Girodet en 1808
8 previous stages
Sub-prefecture of Ille-et-Villaine (35)
Population: 51,000
Motto / Signature: “Neither French, nor Breton, Malouin I am” / Cité corsaire
Specialities: seafood, sausage pancakes, craquelins (biscuits) sheep, butter.
Economy: tourism, port, dairy, wood, textile.
Celebrities: François Rene de Chateaubriand (writer), Surcouf (privateer), Jacques Cartier (explorer), Leo Ferre (singer) , Daniel Gélin (actor).
Sport: sailing (Québec-Saint-Malo, Route du Rhum), CJF Handball, USSM (football), La Fleche d'Emeraude (cycling race)
Festivals: FETLYF (theatre with high school students), Jazz à l'étage (March), Courant d'Art, Classique au large (April), Etonnants voyageurs (literature) - Forum des Arts (MAy), SOLIDOR painting (June), International Festival of world dance and music (July), Route du Rock (August), Quai des Bulles (October).
Labels: Ville d'art et d'histoire, Station Nautique (****), Grand prix national du fleurissement (4)

Web sites

Jersey wearers after the stage 14

Classifications after the stage 14

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