St Malo (Brittany), France
Saint-Malo, known as the Corsaires city, is situated at the Cote d'Emeraude on the Rance River in the north-east of Brittany. The city's name stems from the Welsh Monk MacLow Saint-Malo. The city, which has been a seaward fortress since the end of the 17th century, had one of the most important ports in France. The mighty fortifications and ramparts were designed by Simon Garangeau, a disciple of the famous Vauban. Founded in the 6th century as a monastic settlement, the city retains much of its august, historic and dignified veneer. Saint-Malo is now a city of granite rebuilt after WWII to its original style and skyline. Nearby is the island monastery of Mont St. Michel, founded in 708. A focal point for tourists and the faithful alike, early pilgrims risked their lives crossing the treacherous mud flats to reach this site. Now a dam is needed to keep Mont St. Michel's flats from silting up.