Fort Petit-Bé

Fort Petit-Bé, locally known as Fort du Petit-Bé, lies on a small tidal island, in front of the city of Saint-Malo, in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in France.

The first fort on this island called Petit-Bé was built in 1662 by the French government.

At the end of the 17th century Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, the famous military engineer, inspected the fortifications of Saint-Malo for Louis XIV of France. Deciding it needed strengthening he not only modified the town and castle ramparts to mount artillery, but also designed a series of outlying forts on the islands in the bay in order to protect Saint-Malo against Anglo-Dutch fleets.

One of these forts was the present Fort Petit-Bé. Construction began under the direction of the engineer Siméon Garangeau according to Vauban's plans in 1689. In 1693 the forts, some not even finished yet amongst which Petit-Bé, were tested in an attack of an Anglo-Dutch fleet on Saint-Malo which they managed to repel. They repelled another attack in 1695. Fort Petit-Bé was finally finished in 1707.

The fort was occupied by the French army until 1885. Later it was decommissioned and turned over to the local government. Then the abandoned fort fell into dilapidation until 2000 when it was given to a non-profit organization who restored it to make it useful for tourism.

At present Fort Petit-Bé can be visited with a guide for a small fee. Sadly enough, due to corona measures and breeding season, it was closed when I came by. It can be visited on foot only during low tides. During high tides it is only accessible by boat as Saint-Malo has a tidal range of 13 meters. The beautiful walled city of Saint-Malo with its castle and several forts (with besides Fort Petit-Bé also Fort National) is very much worth your visit. Recommended! Fort Aleth and the Solidor Tower, both opposite Saint-Malo, are also nearby.


Gallery

Fort Petit-Bé

Fort Petit-Bé, locally known as Fort du Petit-Bé, lies on a small tidal island, in front of the city of Saint-Malo, in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in France.

The first fort on this island called Petit-Bé was built in 1662 by the French government.

At the end of the 17th century Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, the famous military engineer, inspected the fortifications of Saint-Malo for Louis XIV of France. Deciding it needed strengthening he not only modified the town and castle ramparts to mount artillery, but also designed a series of outlying forts on the islands in the bay in order to protect Saint-Malo against Anglo-Dutch fleets.

One of these forts was the present Fort Petit-Bé. Construction began under the direction of the engineer Siméon Garangeau according to Vauban's plans in 1689. In 1693 the forts, some not even finished yet amongst which Petit-Bé, were tested in an attack of an Anglo-Dutch fleet on Saint-Malo which they managed to repel. They repelled another attack in 1695. Fort Petit-Bé was finally finished in 1707.

The fort was occupied by the French army until 1885. Later it was decommissioned and turned over to the local government. Then the abandoned fort fell into dilapidation until 2000 when it was given to a non-profit organization who restored it to make it useful for tourism.

At present Fort Petit-Bé can be visited with a guide for a small fee. Sadly enough, due to corona measures and breeding season, it was closed when I came by. It can be visited on foot only during low tides. During high tides it is only accessible by boat as Saint-Malo has a tidal range of 13 meters. The beautiful walled city of Saint-Malo with its castle and several forts (with besides Fort Petit-Bé also Fort National) is very much worth your visit. Recommended! Fort Aleth and the Solidor Tower, both opposite Saint-Malo, are also nearby.


Gallery