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This Medieval Walled Town with a Storied History Shows How Traditional Urbanism Can Support High Density

© Sabine de Villeroy
© Sabine de Villeroy

The protective fortress, winding cobblestone streets, and medieval urban layout are all characteristics of many coastal European towns. But when exploring the French town of Saint-Malo, it is difficult to believe that this is hardly the original city. What separates Saint-Malo from many other European towns located by the sea—aside from its striking location jutting out from the coastline—is the complex history of how it was heavily destroyed in World War II, but rebuilt to its original aesthetic.

© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/ferrariguy90/8467381701'>Flickr user Trevor Huxham</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a>© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/15206970485'>Flickr user Dennis Jarvis</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>Unknown, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saint-Malo_après_la_bataille_de_1944.jpg">Saint-Malo après la bataille de 1944</a>, marked as public domain, more details on <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:PD-old">Wikimedia Commons</a>© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/lutherankorean/2652730156'>Flickr user Pom Angers</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>+ 7