Grand Bé is a tidal island located few hundred metres from the walls of Saint-Malo. At low tide the island can be reached on foot from the nearby Bon-Secours beach. Around 1360, hermits built a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Laurel, then to St Ouen. A redoubt was built in 1555, then replaced by other fortifications in 1652. François-René de Chateaubriand, a French writer native to Saint-Malo, is buried on the island, in a grave facing the sea. Twenty years before his death, he had expressed his desire to be buried on this piece of land facing the sea in order to continue his conversation with the sea.

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Founded: 1652
Category: Ruins in France

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marijke Decuir (7 months ago)
Well worth waiting for the tides to walk out to this sometimes island
Patrick von Känel (8 months ago)
Very nice walk to the Island. Island itself nothing special but rather the view from there to St.Malo is a must, especially with a nice evening.
Garry Phipps (9 months ago)
The area around (& within) the old walled city is a beautiful place to spend a day
Liza Xx (9 months ago)
It's a majical place to visit. Crystal clear water surrounding the area during high tide. You can walk out to the fort in low tide, although it's not open to the public. The walk itself is spectacular
Erich Schnoeckel (11 months ago)
There should be more beaches like this. We all should keep them clean and tidy. Not smoking will help a lot.
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Steinvikholm Castle

Steinvikholm Castle is an island fortress built between 1525 to 1532 by Norway's last Catholic archbishop, Olav Engelbrektsson. Steinvikholm castle became the most powerful fortification by the time it was built, and it is the largest construction raised in the Norwegian Middle Ages.

The castle occupies about half of the land on the rocky island. The absence of a spring meant that fresh water had to be brought from the mainland. A wooden bridge served as the only way to the island other than boat. Although the castle design was common across Europe in 1525, its medieval design was becoming obsolete because of the improved siege firepower offered by gunpowder and cannons.

The castle was constructed after Olav Engelbrektsson returned from a meeting with the Pope in Rome, presumably in anticipation of impending military-religious conflict. As Archbishop Engelbrektsson's resistance to the encroachment of Danish rule escalated, first with Frederick I of Denmark and his successor Christian III of Denmark, Steinvikholm Castle and Nidarholm Abbey became the Catholic Church's military strongholds in Norway. In April 1537, the Danish-Norwegian Reformation succeeded in driving the archbishop from the castle into exile in Lier in the Netherlands (now in Belgium), where he died on 7 February 1538. At the castle the archbishop left behind St. Olav's shrine and other treasures from Nidaros Cathedral (Trondheim). The original coffin containing St. Olav's body remained at Steinvikholm until it was returned to Nidaros Cathedral in 1564. Since 1568 St. Olav's grave in Nidaros has been unknown.

From the 17th to 19th century, the island was used as a quarry and some of its masonry was sold and removed from the site. This activity was condoned by the Danish-Norwegian authorities as a way of eliminating a monument to the opposition of the Danish–Norwegian Union.

Steinvikholm fort is owned and operated today by The society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments. The island has been the site of the midnight opera which details the life and struggles of the archbishop. The opera is held in August annually. The opera is organized by Steinvikholm Musikkteater since the beginning in 1993.