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|Le Mans Ville|
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|
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
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- Le Mans has a well-preserved old town (Cité Plantagenêt, also called Vieux Mans) and the Cathédrale St-Julien, dedicated to St Julian of Le Mans, who is honoured as the city's first bishop.
- Remnants of a Roman wall are visible in the old town and Roman baths are located by the river. These walls are highlighted every summer (July and August) evening in a light show that tells the history of the town.
- Arboretum de la Grand Prée
- Part of the former Cistercian abbey de l' Epau, founded by Queen Berengaria and currently maintained in extensive grounds by the Département de la Sarthe.
- Jardin des Plantes du Mans
- Musée de la reine Bérengère, a museum of Le Mans history located in a gothic manor house.
- Musée de Tessé, the fine arts museum of the city, displaying painting (including artworks by Philippe de Champaigne, Charles Le Brun, François Boucher, John Constable, Ingres, Théodore Géricault and Camille Corot) and archaeological collections as well as decorative arts.
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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.
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.
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. The 1955 Le Mans disaster was a large accident during the race that killed eighty-four spectators. Boutiques and shops are set up during the race, selling merchandise and promoting products for cars.
Le Mans was the birthplace of:
- Henry II of England, born 1133
- Geoffroy V d'Anjou, born 1113
- Geoffrey de Goreham or Gorron, became Abbot of St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK, in 1119
- Dom Louis Le Pelletier, born 1663, linguist of the Breton language
- Gilles-François de Beauvais, born 7 July 1693, was a Jesuit writer and preacher.
- Basil Moreau, born 1799, a priest of Le Mans, founded the Congregation of Holy Cross. Beatified in Le Mans in 2007.
- Christine and Lea Papin, whose murder (1933) of their employers inspired Jean Genêt's The Maids.
- Jean Françaix, born in 1912, composer
- Jean Rondeau, born in 1946, racecar driver and constructor
- François Fillon, born in 1954, Prime Minister of France.
- Emmanuel Moire, born 1979, French singer
- Sébastien Bourdais, born 1979, racecar driver
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, born 1985, professional tennis player.
- Guillaume Loriot, footballer
- Leslie, born 4 February 1985, French singer
Notable residents include:
- Gilles Villeneuve, lived temporarily in Le Mans in 1973.
- David Jason, English actor, lived in Le Mans between 1965–1968 and 1999–2001.
- Andy Wallace, born 1961, racecar driver
Twin towns – sister cities
Le Mans is twinned with:
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.
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Representation in popular culture
- Le Mans has been a setting for numerous feature films that feature its famous race.
- Geography 2.8.8
- Blumenson, Martin, Breakout and Pursuit, Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1989, pp. 436–8
- Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- "Le Mans light rail takes off". Railway Gazette International. 6 January 2008.
- "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- Town Twinning, bolton.gov.uk, retrieved 22 January 2010
- officially since 1967, traditionally since 836 (oldest partnership of its kind).
- Lelièvre, Jean; Balavoine, Maurice (1994). Le Mans-Paderborn, 836-1994: dans l'Europe, une amitié séculaire, un sillage de lumière. Le Mans: M. Balavoine. pp. 1–42. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "The Origins of Town Twinning" (PDF). Inverness: The City of Inverness Town Twinning Committee. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- "Twinnings" (PDF). Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Le Mans.|
|40x40px||Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Le Mans.|
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