Top row: left, Le Mans 24-hr automobile race in June; right, Le Mans Justice Department Office; Middle row: View of Sarthe River and historic area, including the Palais of Comtes du Maine; Bottom row: left, Le Mans Tramway in Gambetta Street; center, Facade built in Le Mans Commerce Center; right, Saint Julien Cathedral
|Region||Pays de la Loire|
|Canton||Le Mans-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7|
|Intercommunality||Le Mans Métropole|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Stéphane Le Foll|
|52.81 km2 (20.39 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,800/km2 (7,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||38–134 m (125–440 ft) |
(avg. 51 m or 167 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Le Mans (pronounced [lə mɑ̃] ) is a city in France on the Sarthe River. Traditionally the capital of the province of Maine, it is now the capital of the Sarthe department and the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Le Mans. Le Mans is a part of the Pays de la Loire region.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
Maine[mɛːn] is one of the traditional provinces of France. It corresponds to the former County of Maine, whose capital was also the city of Le Mans. The area, now divided into the departments of Sarthe and Mayenne, counts about 857,000 inhabitants.
Sarthe is a department of Pays de la Loire situated in the Grand-Ouest of the country. It is named after the River Sarthe, which flows from east of Le Mans to just north of Angers.
Its inhabitants are called Manceaux and Mancelles. Since 1923, the city has hosted the internationally famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance sports car race.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France. It is considered one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and has been called the "Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency". The event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport; other events being the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.
First mentioned by Claudius Ptolemy,the Roman city Vindinium was the capital of the Aulerci, a sub tribe of the Aedui. Le Mans is also known as Civitas Cenomanorum (City of the Cenomani), or Cenomanus. Their city, seized by the Romans in 47 BC, was within the ancient Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis. A 3rd-century amphitheatre is still visible. The thermae were demolished during the crisis of the third century when workers were mobilized to build the city's defensive walls. The ancient wall around Le Mans is one of the most complete circuits of Gallo-Roman city walls to survive.
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from Italy, homeland of the Romans and metropole of the empire, with the city of Rome as capital. The Roman Empire was then ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Senate of Rome sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople. The fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.
Aulerci is a generic name for some of the Celtic peoples of ancient Gaul, which included several Celtic tribes. Julius Caesar names the Aulerci with the Veneti and the other maritime states. In B. G. vii. 75, he enumerates, among the clients of the Aedui, the Aulerci Brannovices and Brannovii, as the common text stands; but the names in this chapter of Caesar are corrupt, and Brannovii does not appear to be genuine. If the name Aulerci Brannovices is genuine in vii. 75, this branch of the Aulerci, which was dependent on the Aedui, must be distinguished from those Aulerci who were situated between the Lower Seine and the Loire, and separated from the Aedui by the Senones, Carnutes, and Bituriges Cubi.
The Aedui, Haedui, or Hedui were a Gallic people of Gallia Lugdunensis, who inhabited the country between the Arar (Saône) and Liger (Loire), in today's France. Their territory thus included the greater part of the modern departments of Saône-et-Loire, Côte-d'Or and Nièvre.
As the use of the French language replaced late Vulgar Latin in the area, Cenomanus, with dissimilation, became known as Celmans.Cel- was taken to be a form of the French word for "this" and "that", and was replaced by le, which means "the".
Vulgar Latin or Sermo Vulgaris, also Colloquial Latin, or Common Romance, was a range of non-standard sociolects of Latin spoken in the Mediterranean region during and after the classical period of the Roman Empire. It is distinct from Classical Latin, the standard and literary version of the language. Compared to Classical Latin, written documentation of Vulgar Latin appears less standardized. Works written in Latin during classical times and the earlier Middle Ages used prescribed Classical Latin rather than Vulgar Latin, with very few exceptions, thus Vulgar Latin had no official orthography of its own.
In phonology, particularly within historical linguistics, dissimilation is a phenomenon whereby similar consonants or vowels in a word become less similar. For example, when a sound occurs before another in the middle of a word in rhotic dialects of English, the first tends to drop out, as in "beserk" for berserk, "suprise" for surprise, "paticular" for particular, and "govenor" for governor – this does not affect the pronunciation of government, which has only one, but English government tends to be pronounced "goverment", dropping out the first n.
Gregory of Tours mentions a Frankish sub-king Rigomer, who was killed by King Clovis I in his campaign to unite the Frankish territories.
Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of the area that had been previously referred to as Gaul by the Romans. He was born Georgius Florentius and later added the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather. He is the primary contemporary source for Merovingian history. His most notable work was his Decem Libri Historiarum, better known as the Historia Francorum, a title that later chroniclers gave to it, but he is also known for his accounts of the miracles of saints, especially four books of the miracles of Martin of Tours. St. Martin's tomb was a major pilgrimage destination in the 6th century, and St. Gregory's writings had the practical effect of promoting this highly organized devotion.
The Franks were a collection of Germanic peoples, whose name was first mentioned in 3rd century Roman sources, associated with tribes on the Lower and Middle Rhine, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term was associated with later Romanized Germanic dynasties within the collapsing Roman Empire, who eventually commanded the whole region between the rivers Loire and Rhine. They then imposed power over many other post-Roman kingdoms and Germanic peoples, and still later they were given recognition by the Catholic Church as successors to the old rulers of the Western Roman Empire.
Clovis was the first king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of royal chieftains to rule by a single king and ensuring that the kingship was passed down to his heirs. He is considered to have been the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Frankish kingdom for the next two centuries.
As the principal city of Maine, Le Mans was the stage for struggles in the eleventh century between the counts of Anjou and the dukes of Normandy. When the Normans had control of Maine, William the Conqueror successfully invaded England and established an occupation. In 1069 the citizens of Maine revolted and expelled the Normans, resulting in Hugh V being proclaimed count of Maine. Geoffrey V of Anjou married Matilda of England in the cathedral. Their son Henry II Plantagenet, king of England, was born here. In 1154, during the reign of his uncle King Stephen, Henry landed in England with an army, intent on challenging Stephen for the throne. Some of the members of that feudal force were known by the surname 'del Mans' (Latin for of Mans, as the city was then known.) In medieval records pertaining to the history of Gloucester is a reference to one such man, Walter del Mans, and beside his name 'Cenomanus' was added by the medieval scribe, so that there is no doubt as to Walter's origin. In the English censuses down to the twentieth century the surname Mans (latterly often spelled Manns) was virtually confined to the counties of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire and their borderlands, reflecting the original settlement patterns in the Welsh Marches of the original followers of Henry's from Le Mans in 1154. A John Mans/Manns was escheator of Hereford 1399-1400. One family from [Le] Mans held the manor of Dodenham, Worcestershire. (Calendar of the Records of the Corporation of Gloucester, Item 96, ca.1200; Fine Roles Henry III, 23 Aug. 1233 [Hereford];'Parishes: Doddenham', A History of the County of Worcester, volume 4 (1924), pp. 260–62.) Intercourse between England and Le Mans continued throughout the Angevin period.
Anjou is a historical province of France straddling the lower Loire River. Its capital was Angers and it was roughly coextensive with the diocese of Angers. It bordered Brittany to the west, Maine to the north, Touraine to the east and Poitou to the south. The adjectival form of Anjou is Angevin, and inhabitants of Anjou are known as Angevins. During the Middle Ages, the County of Anjou, ruled by the Counts of Anjou, was a prominent fief of the French crown.
Normandy is the northwesternmost of the 18 regions of France, roughly referring to the historical Duchy of Normandy.
William I, usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, and he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later. The rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands and by difficulties with his eldest son.
Wilbur Wright began official public demonstrations of the airplane he had developed with his younger brother Orville on August 8, 1908, at the Hunaudières horse racing track near Le Mans.
Soon after Le Mans was liberated by the U.S. 79th and 90th Infantry Divisions on 8 August 1944,engineers of the Ninth Air Force IX Engineering Command began construction of a combat Advanced Landing Ground outside of the town. The airfield was declared operational on 3 September and designated as "A-35". It was used by several American fighter and transport units until late November of that year in additional offensives across France; the airfield was closed.
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Le Mans has an oceanic climate influenced by the mild Atlantic air travelling inland. Summers are warm and occasionally hot, whereas winters are mild and cloudy. Precipitation is relatively uniform and moderate year round.
|Climate data for Le Mans (1981–2010 averages)|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.2|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||2.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−15.2|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||67.2|
|Average precipitation days||11.2||9.3||10.2||9.5||10.0||7.3||7.6||6.5||8.0||10.7||10.5||11.8||112.6|
|Average relative humidity (%)||87||83||78||74||75||73||72||74||79||86||88||88||79.8|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||66.2||89.7||134.3||170.9||199.7||224.1||227.4||224.9||181.0||118.8||70.9||63.9||1,771.8|
|Source #1: Meteo France|
|Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity, snowy days 1961–1990)|
At the 1999 French census, there were 293,159 inhabitants in the metropolitan area ( aire urbaine ) of Le Mans, with 146,105 of these living in the city proper (commune).
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The Gare du Mans is the main railway station of Le Mans. It takes 1 hour to reach Paris from Le Mans by TGV high speed train. There are also TGV connections to Lille, Marseille, Nantes, Rennes and Brest. Gare du Mans is also a hub for regional trains. Le Mans inaugurated a new light rail system on 17 November 2007.
The first French Grand Prix took place on a 64-mile (103 km) circuit based at Le Mans in 1906.
Since the 1920s, the city has been best known for its connection with motorsports. There are two official and separate racing tracks at Le Mans, though they share certain portions. The smaller is the Bugatti Circuit (named after Ettore Bugatti, founder of the car company bearing his name), a relatively short permanent circuit, which is used for racing throughout the year and has hosted the French motorcycle Grand Prix. The longer and more famous Circuit de la Sarthe is composed partly of public roads. These are closed to the public when the track is in use for racing. Since 1923, this route has been used for the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car endurance race. Boutiques and shops are set up during the race, selling merchandise and promoting products for cars.
The "Le Mans start" was formerly used in the 24-hour race: drivers lined up across the track from their cars, ran across the track, jumped into their cars and started them to begin the race.
The 1955 Le Mans disaster was a large accident during the race that killed eighty-four spectators.
The city is home to Le Mans Sarthe Basket, 2006 Champion of the LNB Pro A, France's top professional basketball division.
The team plays its home games at the Antarès, which served as one of the host arenas of the FIBA EuroBasket 1999.
Le Mans was the birthplace of:
Notable residents include:
Died in Le Mans:
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Le Mans is twinned with:
The culinary specialty of Le Mans is rillettes , a shredded pork pâté.
Located at Mayet near Le Mans, the Le Mans-Mayet transmitter has a height of 342 m and is one of the tallest radio masts in France.
Rouen is a city on the River Seine in the north of France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries.
Maine-et-Loire is a department of the Loire Valley in west-central France, in the Pays de la Loire region.
Angers is a city in western France, about 300 km (190 mi) southwest of Paris. It is chef-lieu of the Maine-et-Loire department and was the capital of the province of Anjou until the French Revolution. The inhabitants of both the city and the province are called Angevins. Not including the metropolitan area, Angers is the third most populous commune in northwestern France after Nantes and Rennes and the 17th in France.
Alençon is a commune in Normandy, France, capital of the Orne department. It is situated 173 kilometres (107 mi) west of Paris. Alençon belongs to the intercommunality of Alençon.
Laval is a town in western France, about 300 km (190 mi) west-southwest of Paris, and the capital of the Mayenne department. Laval was before the French Revolution part of the province of Maine, now split between two departments, Mayenne and Sarthe. Its inhabitants are called Lavallois. The commune of Laval proper, without the metropolitan area, is the 13th most populous in northwestern France and the 119th in France.
The Automobile Club de l'Ouest, sometimes abbreviated to ACO, is the largest automotive group in France. It was founded in 1906 by car building and racing enthusiasts, and is most famous for being the organising entity behind the annual Le Mans 24 Hours race. The ACO also lobbies on behalf of French drivers on such issues as road building and maintenance, the availability of driving schools and road safety classes, and the incorporation of technical innovations into new vehicles. It also runs a roadside assistance service for its members.
La Flèche is a town and commune in the French department of Sarthe, in the Pays de la Loire region in the Loire Valley. It is the sub-prefecture of the South-Sarthe, the chief district and the chief city of a canton, and the second most populous city of the department. The city is part of the Community of communes of the Pays La Flèche. The inhabitants of the town are called the La Flèchois. It is classified as a country of art and history.
The Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans, also known as Circuit de la Sarthe located in Le Mans, Sarthe, France, is a semi-permanent motorsport race course chiefly known as the venue for the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race. Comprising private, race-specific sections of track in addition to public roads which remain accessible most of the year, its present configuration is 13.626 kilometres (8.467 mi) long, making it one of the longest circuits in the world. Capacity of the race stadium, where the short Bugatti Circuit is situated, is 100,000. The Musée des 24 Heures du Mans is a motorsport museum located at the main entrance of the venue.
A number of video games have been made of Le Mans 24 Hours. The race, the Circuit de la Sarthe, and competing cars have been featured in racing games such as the Gran Turismo series.
William des Roches was a French knight and crusader who acted as Seneschal of Anjou, of Maine and of Touraine. After serving the Angevin kings of England, in 1202 he changed his loyalty to King Philip II of France and became a leading member of his government.
Fresnay-sur-Sarthe is a commune in the Sarthe department in the region of Pays-de-la-Loire in north-western France. On 1 January 2019, the former communes Coulombiers and Saint-Germain-sur-Sarthe were merged into Fresnay-sur-Sarthe.
Mayet is a commune in the Sarthe department in the region of Pays-de-la-Loire in north-western France.
Marguerite de Sablé, Dame de Sablé, was a French noblewoman and one of the wealthiest heiresses in the counties of Anjou and Maine. She was the eldest daughter of Robert de Sablé, and the wife of William des Roches, Seneschal of Anjou, who two years after his marriage to Marguerite became one of the greatest barons in Anjou and Maine, her considerable inheritance having passed to him upon her father's death in 1193.
L'Épau Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey founded by the English queen Berengaria of Navarre in 1229. It is located on the outskirts of the city of Le Mans, on the left bank of the Huisne, adjoining the town of Yvré-l'Évêque. The abbey was suppressed in the French Revolution. The surviving buildings came close to destruction on several occasions, but their preservation was finally assured in 1958 by the General Council of the Sarthe department.
The 2015 Circuit de la Sarthe was the 63rd edition of the Circuit de la Sarthe cycling stage race. It was run in the Sarthe department between 7 and 10 April 2015 and consisted of five stages, two of which took place on the same day. It was rated as a 2.1 event on the 2015 UCI Europe Tour. The race was won by the defending champion, Ramūnas Navardauskas (Cannondale–Garmin). Navardauskas won the race by one second ahead of Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff–Saxo), thanks to six seconds won on the final stage at intermediate sprints.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Angers, France.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Le Mans, France.
The 2017 Circuit de la Sarthe–Pays de Loire was the 65th edition of the Circuit de la Sarthe cycling stage race. It was held in the Sarthe department between 4 and 7 April 2017 and consisted of five stages, two of which took place on the same day. It was rated as a 2.1 event on the 2017 UCI Europe Tour.
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