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Le Mans 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 (Pays de la Loire region) and 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.

First mentioned by 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). 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.

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 Mathilde in the cathedral, where Henry II Plantagenet, king of England, was baptised.

The city retains a well-preserved old town dating from the medieval period (known as the Cité Plantagenêt or Vieux Mans), where the cobbled streets and half-timbered house fronts provided the setting for Gérard Depardieu in the 1989 film of Cyrano de Bergerac. Most of the pictures in this series were taken in Vieux Mans in rather dreary weather unfortunately.

The above information was extracted from a fairly lengthy article on Wikipedia that can be accessed by clicking here.

Budapestman, lakshmip1949, timecapturer, jlbrthnn, Cricri, pierrefonds has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6221 W: 61 N: 18118] (81641)
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