The Bastion de la Hollande was built from 1674 onwards following the collapse of part of the old wall protecting the platform, named “Moulins Collin” after one of the three windmills that were located there from the Middle Ages onwards.
The bastion was called “Hollande” because construction of the work began during the war against the Dutch.
It was completed by Garengeau and armed with cannons offered in 1696 by the Count of Toulouse (who was the Governor of Brittany) as thanks for the contribution made by the inhabitants of Saint-Malo to the defence of the country.
A magazine built underground on the town side was used as a kennel for the pack of guard-dogs kept to watch over it.
There were 24 of these dogs and they were English mastiffs. At nightfall, they were led around the streets by their guards and released outside the Grand’Porte once the bell in the public clock tower called Noguette had sounded ten times.
They were called back together the following morning by sounding a horn and were led back to their kennel.
The dogs, which were not fed during the day, chased after people who had not returned home in time. They could be a real menace and attack people, as happened in 1772 to a naval officer who stayed out too late (it is said) visiting his fiancée.
The municipality then decided to get rid of its dogs, who were all poisoned, but the Noguette bell, up in the cathedral bell-tower, still rings every evening at ten o’clock.