Le Mans Travel Guide

  • Restaurants
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  • Things to Do
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  • Things to Do
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Le Mans Things to Do

  • Nights of the Chimera, Le Mans.

    Every summer the town of Le Mans creates its own outdoor cinema with the wondrous "Nuits des Chimeres". A feast for the eyes, every evening at nightfall the old "Cité Plantagenet" comes to life with this free light show. Different parts of the town including the cathedral, the ramparts and the Jacobin fountain are painted with colour. The cathedral...

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  • Le Mans classic 2012.

    For those that cannot stand the constant noise of the "normal" Le Mans 24 hours race, there is always this "classic" where Bugatti, Packhard, Ford GT40 still mean something and the circuit is littered with ols Lotus 7's, Morgans, Jaguar E-types and other beauties from a few years back. There is of course racing going on, but not with the same...

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  • Circus carnival, Le Mans.

    Every year around the same period La Mans stages its circus carnival along the Sarthe river, through some of the old streets and around the cathedral. With a circus theme there are acts from around France plus differents associations have floats. For the kids this is a great evening starting around 20h30 on Saturday 30th June 2012 (this years...

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  • St. Julian's: In the Choir Are Lively...

    The choir stalls are covered by a series of 16C tapestries on thelives of Sts. Gervase and Protase. in a vivid style. I know nothing about them except that a church in their honor looks at the back (east side) of the Hotel de Ville in Paris. There are tapstries in other parts of the church to St. Julian and banners of bishop's of similar type...

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  • St. Julian's: See the Sculpted Tombs &...

    The two tombs at the North Transept are fine examples of funerary sculpture. The classical looking one is of Charles d'Anjou (died 1472) and is by Francesco Laurana a very famous Florentine from Croatia. The second showing a man reclining on his bent arm is of Guillaume de Bellay (died 1573), a powerful deputy of Francois I (also of Italian...

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  • St. Julian's: Look at the Transepts

    The transepts were the last addition to the church (14-15C) and a graceful addition. The North Rose has 15C glass while the South transept is filled by a large 16C organ loft. The stonework of the North end is particularly elaborate. In the East arm of the North transept is the Baptismal Chapel and at its entrance are two exceptional tombs.

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  • St. Julian's: Go Around the Ambulatory &...

    The Choir and a double ambulatory were started in 1217 along witha raising of the height of the nave roof.This was designed to be as tall (actually taller) as Notre Dame de Paris. The ambulatory has a megical 7-segment partition with 7 radiating chapels, the largest being the apsidial Lady Chapel with a 17C wrought-iron grill. The inner ambulatory...

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  • St. Julian's: Study the Interior's...

    The interior of the Cathedral reflects its long building period. The nave is pure Romanesque with 11C (!) round arches. later raised to points within elevated Angevine vaulting. This is supported upon the alternating thick and thin pillars making for two-arched segments. The capitals are decorated and support atlantoid grotesques are added. The...

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  • You Cannot Completely Circle the...

    The western part of the cathedral rests high up in the old town. The apse and flying buttresses sit above a wall that is part of the old ramparts and look far down on the Place des Jacobins. The south porch, the west facade, and the menhir are in the open high ground in the old town, as are the south side of the nave and the S. transept as far as...

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  • Explore Around the Church for More Old...

    There are many fine old buildings around the church. Beyond the West Facade ther are a Renaissance Turret House and a 16C mansion nxt to it. Interesting buildings jut out in every direction and down each street and alley. The r. Berengere is a good example--look ahead and around.

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  • See the Menhir (Our First) at the...

    Just beyond the south end of the West Facade of the cathedral. on its south side is a tall red stone with curved parallel ridges carved into its surface. This is a menhir (Breton for tall stone). We were to subsequently see numerous others in Brittany (and one much larger). It is customary to touch it as a mystic symbol that you will return here...

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  • Look At the South Portal Tympanum

    The Tympanum shows Christ in Majesty and the four symbols of the Evangelists. The lintel below contains the apostles. The voussoirs (archivolt) figures are lively and clear with an inner circle of censing angels.

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Le Mans Hotels

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Le Mans Restaurants

  • Menu at 10€!!

    One of those places that you go into because you're freezing your n**s off, and then are very glad that you did. There is of course an a la carte menu, but every day there is a menu at 10€. At first I thought yeah ok, for 10€ we're still going to be hungry afterwards. Not a bit of it!!! Hors d'oeuvre, main meal, dessert, a coffee and a glass of...

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  • Well worth the money...

    Nicely placed in the centre of the old part of Le Mans, just opposite the Town Hall and 5 minutes from the cathedral, I really enjoyed my meal here. Fortunately we had reserved as it was quite full, including the outside terrace. Waiters and waitresses were always smiling and polite, going out of their way to be nice with the grandchildren (never...

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  • They don't have any...

    They don't have any restaurant's at the castle so pack a lunch or eat at places just outside the grounds

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Le Mans Nightlife

  • sls_2001's Profile Photo

    by sls_2001 Written Aug 26, 2002

    Not really a nightlife kind of place, although the fountains in the gardens are great to see in the evenings.

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Le Mans Local Customs

Le Mans Warnings and Dangers

  • No real danger. Just hang on...

    No real danger. Just hang on to your purse or wallet and don't do anything you wouldn't do in your own hometown.

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  • IT'S A BIT DANGEROUS RIDING ON...

    IT'S A BIT DANGEROUS RIDING ON SOME OF THE SMALLER ROADS AT NIGHT..AND THEY CAN BE SLIPPERY IF FARM TRAFFIC HAS BEEN ON THEM....MY ADVICE IS GET TO YOUR DESTINATION THERE EARLY.

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Le Mans Tourist Traps

  • sls_2001's Profile Photo

    by sls_2001 Written Aug 26, 2002

    If you take a tour of the castle, the best way is to go in a group tour and pay the top price so you can see the King's private quarters and the Opera house. Very cool places.

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Le Mans Off The Beaten Path

  • Stop at Malicorne-sur-Sarthe

    One of the advantages of renting a car as a mode of independent travel, is that it allows you to explore sites not visited by other tourists, especially if you are not in a hurry. When we plan, we always meticulously examine the local Guide Michelin and old Blue Guides. These often clue us to places to stop for a little enroute (sometimes with 5-10...

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  • The old part of the City has...

    The old part of the City has ancient halftimbered houses in which some have been built at the end of the 14° Century.This one was the house of a locksmith and it is located Grande Rue.It is called the Pillier aux Clés (the keys pillar).

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Le Mans Sports & Outdoors

  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    by hquittner Written Jul 12, 2007

    Le Mans is famous for its 24-hr motor road races. There is also a track for motorcycles and within the precinct is a horserace track. I cannot drive and take pictures at the same time and so there is no illustration. Most of the circuit is typical well paved country roads except for two very abrupt right angle bends and a hairpin turn near the stands (which we did not drive).It progresses by D139, 140 & 138. We did this early one morning in May (one month before the annual event) ostensibly to interest our 10 yr old grandson, but it was too early and he dozed off. He also showed no desire to explore "those old cars" or even look at the grandstand. (A decade later he is still moaning over the lost opportunity, I should have MADE him look). So, I have driven Le Mans (but not the Bugatti circuit).

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Le Mans Favorites

  • have a map of the old city...

    have a map of the old city center.Office de Tourisme (Visitor Center) : Hôtel des Ursulines - Rue de l4etoile - 72000 - Le Mans - 332.43.28.17.22 - Fax : 332.43.23.37.19 - www.ville-lemans.fr Click to enlarge

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  • It's actually Versailles, this...

    It's actually Versailles, this is the closest I could get to it on the cities list Versailles is the huge castle built by Louis XIV and you can spend an entire day walking through the gardens. All of it is beautiful

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  • 24 hour motorbike racing or...

    24 hour motorbike racing or the cars event if you must. Great atmosphere and good food.After the races as we passed through each town heading North , all the people came out to wave at the bikers going home.

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