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Mans

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Mans

This article is about the city in France. For the sportscar endurance race, see 24 Hours of Le Mans. For racecar type, see Le Mans Prototype. For other uses, see Le Mans (disambiguation).
"Mans" redirects here. For plural of, see Man (disambiguation). For other uses, see MANS.

Le Mans

Top left: Le Mans 24 hours automobile race in June, Top right: Le Mans Justice Department Office, Middle: View of Sarthe River and historic area, include in Palais of Comtes du Maine, Bottom left: Le Mans Tramway in Gambetta Street, Bottom center: Facade built in Le Mans Commerce Center, Bottom left: Saint Julien Cathedral

Coat of arms
Le Mans
Le Mans

Coordinates: 48°00′28″N 0°11′54″E / 48.0077°N 0.1984°E / 48.0077; 0.1984Coordinates: 48°00′28″N 0°11′54″E / 48.0077°N 0.1984°E / 48.0077; 0.1984

Country France
Region Pays de la Loire
Department Sarthe
Arrondissement Le Mans
Intercommunality Le Mans
Government
 • Mayor (2001–2008) Jean-Claude Boulard
Area
 • Land1 52.81 km2 (20.39 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Population2 148,169
 • Population2 density 2,800/km2 (7,300/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code Dialling codes (0)243
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.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Le Mans (pronounced: [lə mɑ̃]) is a city in France, located 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.

Its inhabitants are called Manceaux and Mancelles. It has been host to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race since 1923.

History


First mentioned by Claudius Ptolemy,[1] 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). Their city, seized by the Romans in 47 BC, lies in the ancient Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis. An amphitheatre built in the third century AD is still visible, but the thermae were demolished during the crisis of the third century to build the city's walls, which remain some of the most complete circuit of Gallo-Roman city walling that survives.


Gregory of Tours mentions a Frankish sub-king Rigomer, who was killed by King Clovis I in his campaign to unite the Frankish territories.

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 was able to invade England successfully; however in 1069 the citizens revolted and expelled the Normans, which led to Hugh being proclaimed count of Maine. Geoffrey V of Anjou married Matilda of England in the cathedral, where Henry II Plantagenet, king of England, was baptized.

World War II

Soon after Le Mans was liberated by the U.S. 79th and 90th Infantry Divisions on 8 August 1944,[2] 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 when the airfield was closed.[3][4]

Post World War II

Main sights


Demographics

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).

Historical population of Le Mans
(Source : http://www.insee.fr/fr/ffc/docs_ffc/psdc.htm)
Year 1962196819751982199019992006
Population 132,181143,246152,285147,697145,502146,105148,169

Economy

Transportation

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.[5]

Sport

Motorsport


The city is best known for its connection with motorsports. There are actually two 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 infamous French motorcycle Grand Prix. The longer and more famous Circuit de la Sarthe is composed partly of public roads, which are closed to the public when the track is in use for racing, and has been host to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race since 1923. Boutiques and shops are set up during the race selling merchandise and promoting products for cars. The first French Grand Prix took place on a 64-mile (103 km) circuit based at Le Mans in 1906. 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. In 1955, the city was home to a disaster that killed eighty-four spectators.

Basketball

Football

Cycling

Notable people

Le Mans was the birthplace of:

Among other personalities who lived there :

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Le Mans is twinned with:

Gastronomy

The culinary specialty of Le Mans is rillettes, a shredded pork pâté.

Landmarks

At Mayet, near Le Mans, and with a height of 342 m, the Le Mans-Mayet transmitter is one of the tallest radio masts in France.

Panorama of Le Mans, facing north-west

See also

References

  • INSEE

External links

  • Official website (French)
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