The ramparts of Saint-Malo: Walk, visit, history

The Ramparts of Saint-Malo

Do you want to know or take a walk on the ramparts of Saint Malo? They have amazing characteristics. This makes them very popular with visitors and residents of the Corsair city.

These ramparts allow you to discover the city in a different way. It is important to know them better to take full advantage of their assets. What do the ramparts represent? What guarantees an unforgettable visit to the ramparts?

What to remember about the ramparts of Saint-Malo

The ramparts of Saint-Malo represent granite walls that surround the city. They are built on a rock on which the city of the Corsair city is built.

What are the characteristics of the ramparts?

The ramparts have a length of about two kilometers. They are composed of eight gates, three bastions and three posterns. It is :

  • The Grande Porte, the Porte Saint-Thomas, the Porte de Dinan, the Porte Saint-Louis, the Porte Saint-Pierre, the Porte Saint-Vincent, the Porte des Champs Vauverts and the Porte des Bés
  • The Estrées postern, the Normans postern and the Jean de Châtillon postern
  • The Saint-Philippe bastion, the Holland bastion and the Saint-Louis bastion

The characteristics of these ramparts indicate its historical importance in the old town of Saint-Malo. They resisted all the attacks, especially those that destroyed 80% of the city in the past. This is due to the solid construction.

Who built the ramparts?

The first construction of the ramparts was made in 1155. The one who took care of it was Jean de Châtillon. Then, Garangeau continued the construction in the 18th century. He built most of the ramparts of Saint-Malo that everyone knows today. The latter was a disciple of Vauban.

The essential activities to do around the ramparts of Saint-Malo

The walk is the first thing to do when visiting the ramparts of Saint-Malo. Indeed, these ramparts offer magnificent views of the Corsair city and its surroundings .

Walking circuits are defined with certain points of interest. They allow you to admire the most beautiful views of the region. Travel is enlivened by ups and downs that can take up to two hours.

Moreover, visiting the ramparts of Saint-Malo is a good opportunity to discover the local gastronomy of Brittany. The restaurants on the ramparts of Saint-Malo offer regional specialties in a beautiful setting.

You can find a good crêperie on the ramparts or a brasserie. There are for example:

The perfect circuit for an unforgettable walk in the ramparts of Saint-Malo

A good panoramic circuit provides the best views from the ramparts of Saint-Malo. It must pass through certain points of interest. These points guarantee that you do not miss any essential address during the walks on these ramparts.

Departure from Porte Saint-Thomas

Porte Saint-Thomas is the perfect starting point for an unmissable stroll on the ramparts of Saint-Malo. Indeed, it allows to have exceptional views from the beginning of the walk. These are views on:

  • Sillon beach which is on the right.
  • The Grand Bé islet on the left
  • The Fort National which is located opposite

From the Fort to the Queen to the climb to the Bidouane Tower

The first part of the walk on the ramparts of Saint-Malo leads to Fort à Reine. Looking to your left, you will discover the rue du Chat qui danse.

Indeed, the Fort à Reine represents the place where an English ship loaded with explosives exploded. It ran aground on the rocks between the Fort à Reine and the Tour Bidouane. It would have caused the death of a cat at street level.

The circuit continues with the discovery of the Tour Bidouane on the ramparts of Saint-Malo. It is an old powder keg. The latter has the shape of a horseshoe.

Climbing this tower is highly recommended. It provides a magnificent view over the bay of Saint-Malo. In addition, the view of the islands of Petit Bé and Grand Bé is the best.

The route between the bastions

The continuation of the course of the ramparts of St-Malo is characterized by the discovery of the bastions of the site. First, the path follows the curtain wall that connects the Holland bastion to the Saint-Philippe bastion. It allows you to discover the beach of Bon-Secours which represents a seawater swimming pool in the region.

Next, the Holland bastion features the Jacques Cartier statue. The stairs on the left at the level of this bastion lead to a courtyard. This courtyard represents the place where the ford dogs were kept. In addition, the curtain wall offers a view of the Môle des Noires and the Môle beach. She overlooks these wonders.

Finally, the circuit continues with the southern curtain wall on the ramparts of Saint-Malo. The latter leads to the Saint-Louis bastion. It presents the statue of Duguay-Trouin. The houses of wealthy Saint-Malo shipowners are the main discoveries at this level.

On the other hand, the exterior of the ramparts presents views not to be missed. Indeed, it provides a good view of the Saint-Servan district, the city of Alet and the port of Saint-Malo.

Towards the Great Gate

The walk on the ramparts of Saint-Malo continues in the direction of the Grande Porte. This is the oldest gate of the ramparts of the Corsair city. The route provides a view of the Hôtel d’Asfeld from the ramparts.

In addition, visitors overlook the Vauban basins and the Quai Saint-Louis. This allows them to have a complete view of the port of Saint-Malo.

On the other hand, the circuit offers a perspective view of the Grande rue from the ramparts. The bell tower of Saint-Vincent Cathedral can also be seen.

Arrival at Porte Saint-Vincent

Porte Saint-Vincent indicates the final destination of the walking circuit on the ramparts of Saint-Malo. It represents the main gateway to the inner city of the Corsair city. This door presents the arms of the city of Saint-Malo and Brittany.

The arrival at the Porte de Saint-Vincent offers views of:

  • The Saint-Vincent esplanade
  • St. Vincent Street
  • The main street of Saint-Malo
  • The castle of Saint-Malo.

A few tips for making the most of your walk on the ramparts of Saint-Malo

Enjoying the ramparts means enjoying the magnificent views of Saint-Malo and its surroundings. First, it is important to follow the tide times.

The objective is to take your walk at low tide time. Some forts are only accessible at this time. In addition, the views are breathtaking during low tides

In addition, it is recommended to complete your walk with a descent into the old town of Saint-Malo. It is also necessary to visit the interior of the fortifications of the city.

The ramparts of Saint-Malo offer an unforgettable experience to its visitors. The latter discover the essential sites that surround the Corsair city through successful walks on the ramparts. The right tips allow them to have the best views and enjoy their visit.


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