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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   France   >   Towns and Cities   >   Le Mans

   
 

Le Mans


Located on the Sarthe River, Le Mans is a city in the Sarthe département, in the Pays de la Loire region of France. As of the 1999 census, Le Mans had a population of 146,105.

Le Mans has a very ancient history, and is mentioned by Ptolemy (second century AD) as the Roman city of Vindinium. Traces of the Roman period include an amphitheater, built in the 3rd century AD, which is still visible to this day. Additionally, not quite as old, but definitely worth seeing are the well-perserved old town (known as "Cité Plantagenêt," or "Vieux Mans"), and the impressive cathedral ("Cathédrale St-Julien du Mans").

Le Mans is, of course, most famous for its connection to motorsports. There are in fact two separate racing tracks in the city, although they do share certain portions of their routes. The tracing tracks are:-
  • The Bugatti Circuit - This is the smaller of the two racing tracks, and is named after Ettore Bugatti, who founded the Bugatti motor company. The Bugatti Circuit is a relative short circuit, is permanent and used for racing all year round.

  • The Circuit de la Sarthe - This is a temporary circuit which is composed, in part, of public roads, which are closed to the public when racing is taking place. The Circuit de la Sarthe is used for the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 24 Heures du Mans) often known as the "Grand Prix of Endurance", and has been since 1923. This race tests not only the car and driver's ability to drive speed, but also their endurance.

Key Facts about Le Mans


Here are some facts about Le Mans:
  1. Le Mans is a city in the Sarthe département, in the Pays de la Loire region of France.

  2. The city is located on the Sarthe River, Le Mans.

  3. As of the 1999 census, Le Mans had a population of 146,105.

  4. People from Le Mans are known as "Manceaux"(males) or "Mancelles" (females).

  5. The city of Le Mans dates back to at least Roman times, when it was known as Vindinium. The first written record of Le Mans dates back to the Roman conquest of Gaul in 47 BCE.

  6. Traces of the Roman history of the city can still be seen to this day, including:

    • A Roman amphitheater, built in the 3rd century.

    • Gallo-Roman city walls, also dating from the 3rd century. These are one of the most complete examples of Gallo-Roman city walls surviving to the present day.

  7. Le Mans also contains a well-preserved old town area (known as "Cité Plantagenêt," or "Vieux Mans").

  8. Le Mans also has a notable cathedral: Cathédrale St-Julien du Mans.

  9. Le Mans is world-famous for its connection to motorsports. The city is home to two racing cicuits:

    • The Bugatti Circuit (a permanent race track)

    • The Circuit de la Sarthe (a temporary circuit, including some public roads, using for the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 24 Heures du Mans)).



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