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Abbaye Saint-Pierre de la Couture.JPG
Prefecture building of the Sarthe department, in Le Mans
Flag of Maine (province).svg
Blason dpt fr Sarthe.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Sarthe in France
Coordinates: 48°17′N0°13′E / 48.283°N 0.217°E / 48.283; 0.217 Coordinates: 48°17′N0°13′E / 48.283°N 0.217°E / 48.283; 0.217
Country France
Region Pays de la Loire
Prefecture Le Mans
Subprefectures La Flèche
   President of the General Council Roland du Luart
  Total6,206 km2 (2,396 sq mi)
  Rank 46th
  Density91/km2 (240/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 72
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 354
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2
The Chateau de Boisclaireau, residence of the Gueroust family, Counts of Boisclaireau, in Sarthe. ChateauBoisclaireau1.jpg
The Château de Boisclaireau, residence of the Gueroust family, Counts of Boisclaireau, in Sarthe.

Sarthe (French pronunciation:  [saʁt] ) 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.



In the late 18th century, before it was officially Sarthe, the nobility built their Mansions and Chateaus there, as an escape from Paris.

The department was created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, pursuant to the law of 22 December 1789, starting from a part of the province of Maine. The latter was divided into two departments, Sarthe to the east and Mayenne to the west. [1]

In Roman times, this province contained the city of Mans, and many of its ruins are still standing. The Roman Thermal Bathhouse attracts many tourists, as does the Theater of Aubigné-Racan, both located on the outskirts of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine.

Marin Mersenne, perhaps the most important scientific figure in the early 17th century, was born in the vicinity of Sarthe.


The department of Sarthe is at the north end of the administrative region of Pays-de-la-Loire. It is south of Normandy and on the southern edge of the Armorican Massif. It is bordered by the departments of Orne, Eure-et-Loir, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire and Mayenne.

Approximately 300,000 people, comprising more than half of the department's population, live in Le Mans, its conurbation, or the essentially urban communes close by. The rest of the department retains a rural character, with agriculture as the chief part of the economy.

The arrival of the railways in 1854 boosted trade for the local economy. A TGV connection was constructed in 1989, connecting the community to high-speed transport.

In terms of road connections, the A11 autoroute, which was constructed to Le Mans from the east in 1978, enhances Sarthe's strategic position as the gateway to the French west.


Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source: [2]


The department was the electoral base of former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who since 2012 sits in the National Assembly of France for a constituency in central Paris.

Current National Assembly Representatives

ConstituencyMember [3] Party
Sarthe's 1st constituency Damien Pichereau La République En Marche!
Sarthe's 2nd constituency Marietta Karamanli Socialist Party
Sarthe's 3rd constituency Pascale Fontenel-Personne La République En Marche!
Sarthe's 4th constituency Stéphane Le Foll Socialist Party
Sarthe's 5th constituency Jean-Carles Grelier The Republicans


See also

Related Research Articles

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Maine (province) Place in France

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Château-du-Loir Part of Montval-sur-Loir in Pays de la Loire, France

Château-du-Loir is a former commune in the Sarthe department in the region of Pays de la Loire in north-western France. On 1 October 2016, it was merged into the new commune Montval-sur-Loir.

Châteauneuf-sur-Sarthe Part of Les Hauts-dAnjou in Pays de la Loire, France

Châteauneuf-sur-Sarthe is a former commune in the Maine-et-Loire department of western France. On 1 January 2019, it was merged into the commune Les Hauts-d'Anjou. It is approximately 175 miles (280 km) from Paris. It had a population of 2,656 according to 2006 statistics. The river Sarthe flows to the east of the town near where the Sarthe and river Mayenne join to form the river Maine.

Poncé-sur-le-Loir Part of Loir en Vallée in Pays de la Loire, France

Poncé-sur-le-Loir is a former commune in the Sarthe département in the region of Pays-de-la-Loire in north-western France. On 1 January 2017, it was merged into the new commune Loir en Vallée. Its inhabitants are called Poncéens.

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Château du Lude castle

The Château du Lude is one of the many great châteaux of the Loire Valley in France. The château is situated in the commune of Le Lude in the Sarthe department in the region of Pays-de-la-Loire and stands at the crossroads of Anjou, Maine and Touraine. Le Lude is the most northerly château of the Loire Valley and one of the last important historic castles in France, still inhabited by the same family for the last 260 years. The château is testimony to four centuries of French architecture, as a stronghold transformed into an elegant house during the Renaissance and the 18th century. The monument is located in the valley of le Loir. Its gardens have evolved throughout the centuries. It is a harmonious combination of French design and an English-style landscape, with a rose garden, topiaries, a labyrinth and a botanical walk.

Montval-sur-Loir Commune in Pays de la Loire, France

Montval-sur-Loir is a commune in the Sarthe department in the region of Pays de la Loire in north-western France. The municipality was established on 1 October 2016 and consists of the former communes of Château-du-Loir, Montabon and Vouvray-sur-Loir.


  1. The Sarthe region
  2. Site sur la Population et les Limites Administratives de la France
  4. "Weekly auto agenda: Le Mans". The Independent . 11 June 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011.