Well just back get to write about this town not too much known but did spent many times here, and now on my way out of the area (selling my house in Versailles) came back for a nostalgic walk and visit, and nice exposition going on great.
Mantes la Jolie is Mantes the beautiful, the name got stuck after king Henri IV wrote a letter to his mistress Gabrielle d’Estrées telling her, I love you ,my beautiful, and to disguise it was interpreted as Mantes the beautiful. I came here often for local business meetings and then started to come with the family for lunch or dinner in town, nice memories that I am sure will linger. One must move on in life….
The best here to see is the Collegiale de Notre Dame, wonderful, already have other entry post on it here, Catholic webpage for the parrish here http://www.catholiquesmantois.paroisse.net/rubriques/gauche/paroisses/la-collegiale-notre-dame/la-collegiale-notre-dame-1
Then, you have the Tour St Maclou, from an old church now in ruins the tower is left for inmortality,and very beautiful in city center ,another place to visit, http://www.manteslajolie.fr/LA%20TOUR%20SAINTMACLOU
Then you go to the Hotel Dieu, or museum now, wonderful place, I was there when an exposition on Georgette Agutte was on, the great wife of Michel Sembat, and one of the leading exponents of Fauvism. It was showing her Oriental orientation in paintings, then you see the permanent collection of Maximilien Lucé, and see the photo on the family of Picasso (even if came out not that good), the discoveries of tombs coffins from antiquity of Jewish origins now on display here. It is located at 1 rue Thiers,right next to the collegiale Notre Dame.
You can get here from Paris on train out of gare Saint Lazare and on foot 15 minutes you can get to all these places above; by car take the A13 direction Rouen, exit sortie 11 mantes la jolie est, then centre ville, then collegiale Notre Dame. about 45 minutes by car and park by the hotel de ville underground very nice a Vinci autopark. Or street metered parking when available, I usually can do it too like yesterday.
You can do lots of exciting walks in town, the one I like is the Promenade des Remparts all along the old streets and along the Seine river. Then you can do with the tourist office walks as promenade Notre Dame and promenade St Maclou.
Obviously I do not stay here been so close to home, but there are Accor hotels all over,and Hotel du Val de Seine, with views of the river at Rue Marcel Tabu ,just on other side of collegiale Notre Dame bord of river Seine, not been a guest but looks lovely, http://www.hotelduvaldeseine.fr/
To eat well you can have the La Fromagerie Guilbaud Jacques to get your best cheeses home,at 14 rue des Halles, a lovely street near Seine that is loaded with chocolates, butcher, boulanger, you name in an old world ambiance. Nice. Coming up on the L’Ecrin Gourmande, 12 Rue Auguste Goust ,is the street to turn to rue des halles, coming from the famous bridge de Limay, and the statues of the dogs or chiens of Mantes. You get the best chocolates and pastries here!! in town! At a wonderful plaza coming towards the bridge de Limay, you come to le Coq Hardi, at 25 pl Marché au Blé ,tel +33 (0) 1 30 33 52 48, its a great brasserie bar, with a nice view over the place marché au Blé just around the corner from the Tour St Maclou.
You cant go wrong on the bakery of Le Douceurs de Mantes, an institution here, 42 Rue Nationale tel +33 (0) 18.104.22.168.98 real goodies here each time. And for the best pizzas in town at Pizza del Teatro, 11 place de la république , perso blog page here http://delteatromantes.pagesperso-orange.fr/
One last word about the chiens or dogs of Mantes, it was a company of Archers under Charles VII in 1452AD that were attached these dogs, here by the porte des poissons or porte de l’Etape they build a house for them as were given special priviledge to serve God and King. Unfortunately the bombs of WWII in 1944 and the rebuilding of the area with a new pont de LImay the house is no longer here, but the dogs remains ,see the photos. I never done it from here but you can also, cruise on the Seine into Rouen and Paris. In French but if need help let me know, http://www.croisieres-en-seine.fr/croisiere-mantes-la-jolie.html
Enjoy the photos and have a great end of weekend. Cheers.