The Fort National of Saint Malo!!

Well here is a dandy touch base briefly in my many posts on Saint Malo; however, felled not enough credit to this wonderful monument on an island out at sea, the Fort National. Therefore, here is my humble rendition on it; hope you enjoy it as I.


The Fort National is a bastion located on an island offshore Saint-Malobuilt on the rock of l’Islet. From Eventail Beach,(see post) opposite the Château de Saint-Malo (see post) , the Fort national , private property since 1927, opens to the public at each low tide.



This rock was, before the construction of the fort, the site of a lighthouse to guide ships in the rocky bay of the corsair city, but also the place of execution of the Lordship of Saint-Malo. In the middle of his reign, Louis XIV launched a project to fortify Saint-Malo to protect the city and its immense wealth from a possible English invasion. Construction will begin in 1689 and the date of completion of construction seems to be 1693. The outer enclosure of the fort was enlarged and redesigned in the 18C and early 19C to improve the defense of the fort on the land side.


The island is accessible at low tide. Private today, the fort belongs to an old Breton family.  Formerly called “Fort Royal” and also “Fort Impérial” ,during the years of the First and Second Empire,(Napoleonic periods)  the current Fort National was built in 1689 by engineer Siméon Garangeau according to plans by Vauban and on orders of King Louis XIV, at the same time as the ramparts of Saint-Malo were reinforced, of which it ensured the defense. If you see the French flag hoisted on the Fort,(meaning is open) then dive into the 35-minute guided and narrated tour. You will relive more than three centuries of military life with its legends and dungeons, the immersion is total..

Throughout its history, the Fort National was the object of a decision of the Sun King, of an achievement by Vauban, it was a place of duel for the famous privateer corsair Robert Surcouf. The story goes that Surcouf, on the lawn of Fort National, overwhelmed his first 11 opponents, simply cutting off the hand of the 12th and declaring “I spare you sir, because I need a witness”. The fort participated actively in the defense of the city during the English attack of 1693. It was finally a Nazi jail. This long history makes it a monument definitely linked to the life of Saint-Malo and a must to visit. 

The official webpage of the Fort National:

The Saint Malo tourist office on the Fort National

There you go folks, now I feel better. This is a nice monument worth the wait to see it and awesome crossing of the bay on low tide! Hope you enjoy the short introduction to the Fort National of Saint Malo!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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