Le Mans, France Hotels, Resorts & Hotel Accommodations

go back to home page home page / Europe / France / Le Mans

  

Country FRANCE

LE MANS
(regional info)

***Book Hotels in Le Mans, France by comparative pricing
Le Mans hotels, resorts & accommodations
La Ville Le Mans
Le Mans Regional Directory
Google Images: Le Mans
Google Video: Le Mans
Google Map: Le Mans
Wikipedia: Le Mans
Le Mans is a city in France, located on the Sarthe River. Traditionally the capital of the province of Maine, it is now the préfecture (capital) of the Sarthe département, and is furthermore the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Le Mans. Its inhabitants are called Manceaux and Mancelles. It has been host to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race since 1923. read full wikipedia reference about Le Mans, France

LE MANS is 80km northwest of Tours in the département of Sarthe, some way from the Loire valley but included here as a good, relatively untouristy base between Normandy and the Loire valley, with swift transport connections down to Angers and Tours. The city is taken over by car fanatics in the middle of June for the famous 24-hour race, but for the rest of the year it's still lively enough, with some interesting museums and one of the most beautiful old quarters of any city in France. It was here, in 1129, that Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Maine and Anjou, married Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England, and where their son, the future Henry II, was born.

The complicated web of the old town lies on a hill above the River Sarthe to the north of the central place de la République. Its medieval streets, a hotch-potch of intricate Renaissance stonework, medieval half-timbering, sculpted pillars and beams and grand classical facades, are still encircled by the original third- and fourth-century Gallo-Roman walls , supposedly the best-preserved in Europe and running for several hundred metres. Steep, walled steps lead up from the river, and longer flights descend on the southern side of the enclosure, using old Gallo-Roman entrances. If you're intrigued, you can see pictures, maps and plans of Vieux Mans, plus examples of the city's ancient arts and crafts, most notably the collection of Malicorne ceramics, in the Musée de la Reine Bérengère (daily 9am-noon & 2-6pm), one of the Renaissance houses on rue de la Reine-Bérengère.

Rearing up the hill from the east is the immense Gothic apse of the Cathédrale St-Julien , with a Romanesque nave and radiating chapels, on place du Grente (also called du Château), at the crowning point of the old town. According to Rodin, the now badly worn sculpted figures of the south porch were rivalled only in Chartres and Athens. Some of the stained-glass windows here were added in the thirteenth century, some time after the first Plantagenet was buried in the church in 1151, but the brightest colours in the otherwise austere interior come from the tapestries.

In the 1850s a road was tunnelled under the quarter - a slum at the time - helping to preserve its self-contained unity. The road tunnel comes out on the south side, by an impressive monument to Wilbur Wright - who tested an early flying machine in Le Mans - and into place des Jacobins, the vantage point for St-Julien's double-tiered flying buttresses and apse. From here, you can walk east through the park to the Musée de Tessé (daily 9am-noon & 2-6pm), a mixed bunch of pictures and statues including Georges de la Tour's light at its most extraordinary in the Extase de St-François , along with copies of brilliant medieval populist murals in Sarthe churches. It also contains an enamel portrait of Geoffrey Plantagenet, which was originally part of his tomb in the cathedral.

The modern centre of Le Mans is place de la République , bordered by a mixture of Belle Époque buildings and more modern office blocks, and the Baroque bulk of the church of the Visitation , built in 1730, with a balustrade inside designed by one of the sisters of the order.

Just south of here is Notre-Dame de la Couture , a church with Plantagenet vaulting and a fine Last Judgement scene over the doorway on an otherwise rather ugly facade. The name has nothing to do with dressmaking but is a corruption of the word culture from the days when the church was surrounded by cultivated fields. Inside there are various treasures, including a shroud of the early seventh-century bishop of Le Mans who founded the monastery to which this church belonged.




OTHER POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN FRANCE
   
Abbeville
Aix En Provence
Ajaccio
Albi
Amiens
Angers
Annecy
Antibes Juan Les Pins
Arles
Avignon
Bandol
Bayeux
Bayonne
Beaulieu Sur Mer
Beaune
Besancon
Biarritz
Blois
Bordeaux
Boulogne
Bourges
Brest
Caen
Cagnes
Calais
Calvi
Cannes
Carcassone
Carnac
Chalon sur Saone
Chambery
Chamonix
Chartres
Cherbourg
Clermont Ferrand
Colmar
Courbevoie
Deauville
Dieppe
Dijon
Dinard
Evian
Futuroscope
Gordes
Grasse
Grenoble
Honfleur
Hyeres
Juan Les Pins
La Baule
La Rochelle
Le Havre
Le Mans
Le Mont St. Michel
Le Touquet
Les Sables d'Orlonne
Lille
Limoges
Lorient
Lourdes
Lyon
Macon
Malo
Marseille
Menton
Merignac
Metz
Montpellier
Mulhouse
Nancy
Nantes
Nice
Nimes
Orleans
Paris
Paris A - Paris C
Paris D - Paris J
Paris K - Paris Y
Pau
Perigueux
Perpignan
Poitiers
Quimper
Reims
Rennes
Roissy
Rouen
Strasbourg
Toulon
Toulouse
Tours
Troyes
Valence
Vannes
Versailles
Vichy


copyright (c) 2013 1t23.com hotel reservations network
All rights reserved

commercial advertisement