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Le Mans ( ) is a city in Francemarker, located on the Sarthe Rivermarker. 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 Loiremarker region.

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

History

First mentioned by Ptolemy (Geography 2.8.8), the Roman city Vindinium or Vindunum 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 BCE, 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 Clovis 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 Anjoumarker and the dukes of Normandy. When the Normans had control of Maine, William the Conqueror was able to successfully invade Englandmarker; 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 Plantagent, king of England, was baptized.

Points of interest



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).

source : http://www.insee.fr/fr/ffc/docs_ffc/psdc.htm

Transportation

Le Mans inaugurated a new light rail system on 17 November 2007.

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 companymarker bearing his name), a relatively short permanent circuit which is used for racing throughout the year. The longer and more famous Circuit de la Sarthemarker 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 Mansmarker 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 Prixmarker took place on a 64-mile (103 km) circuit based at Le Mans in 1906. The "Le Mans start" takes its name from the way racers lined up across the street from their cars and ran across the street and jumped into their cars to begin.

Basketball



Football



Notable people

Le Mans was the birthplace of:



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 transmittermarker is one of the tallest radio masts in France.

World War II

After the liberation of the area by Allied Forces in 1944, engineers of the Ninth Air Force IX Engineering Command began construction of a combat Advanced Landing Ground outside of the town. Declared operational on 3 September, the airfield was designated as "A-35marker", it was used by several American fighter and transport units until late November when the airfield was closed.

See also



References

  1. http://www.railwaygazette.com/news_view/article/2008/01/8062/le_mans_light_rail_takes_off.html
  2. 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.
  3. Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.


External links




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