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The sight of Saint-Malo is impressive. The fortified island retains the look of a medieval fortified city and it has been unspoiled by the passage of time.
During the time of the Roman Empire the area was the site of a small fishing community, and later in the 6th century a monastery was built on the rocky islands. This settlement was home to refugees who had been fleeing form Norman raids in the 9th century.
The port city became an important French port in the 15th century, with merchants coming from around the world to trade in this cosmopolitan city. In the late 16th century tried to declare itself independent of French rule. The short-lived Saint-Malo Republic didn’t last long, and soon the city was back n the control of France. Fears of an invasion by William of Orange, the King of England in the 17th century resulted in increased fortification of the seaside port. And during the 17th and 18th centuries it was a base for French pirates in their raids against English shipping in English Channel.
The city was burned by German forces at the end of World War II, but it has survived and today is a reminder of Brittany’s fascinating past.