Le Mans, Sarthe and 24 hrs racing

Ok so after passing by it and briefly stopping there on several times, decided it was time to bring the family over for more closer look to this old fortified city of Le Mans, in the Sarthe dept 72 in Pays de la Loire region.  The tourist office for it is at http://www.lemans-tourisme.com/fr/

I come by car, and it was about 3 hrs from me avoiding tolls which do not like if can avoided, why paid more taxes ::) We took off on the N24 towards Rennes and there connected with the N157 passing Vitré, then at Laval, gettting around the D900, briefly on the N162, and then theh D57 towards Le Mans that becomes the D357 and into the city by the place du pré and the free parking next to Church Notre Dame du Pré (11C)  now Under renovation and close. From here we walk all over the city.

We cross the river Sarthe and turn right into of going straight for city center, we walk along the river to see the arch of place St Hilaire, saw the Church Saint Benoit(12C) , and continue on to rue Gambetta towards place de la République. We saw the rénovations on the Chapelle de la Visitation (or Church from 1634)  and all the wonderful stores there from a Monoprix, to a Galeries Lafayette,and a shopping passage du Commerce and to the side the mall or shopping center of Centre Jacobins with a C&A and FNAC stores amongst many. http://www.club-onlyou.com/Jacobins

We continue visiting the Church Notre Dame de la Couture , http://www.ndcouture.org/paroisse/ ; near the prefecture govt building and walk all the way to the train station that I have used on several ocassions but never time to venture out of it.

We went to the Cinema Pathé , http://www.cinemasgaumontpathe.com/cinemas/cinema-pathe-le-mans-quinconces/   and the théatre des Quinconces, http://www.theatre-espal.net/ and it was time to eat, after passing several we finally decided to take on something new even for me, so we try Le Capitole, rue des jacobins, http://www.pizzerialecapitole.com/  It was ok just the service was a bit slow, we undertand as there was only one waiter for two floors. Otherwise all very good pizzas and ceasars salads, and tagliattoni pasta with cafe gourmand (with sweets) and a bottle of Chinon red  Domaine de la Perreire, excellent all for 21€ per person.

We passed by the Collégiale Saint Pierre la Cour, wonderful Church originally here since 865AD and renovated until 1834, now its a site of concerts and expositions, and events organise by the city, just to the left of the Cathedral.

We ,then, visited the jewel of the city the Cathedral Saint Julien, this is big and beautiful, so many wonderful chapels and the back of the altar is gorgeous, I am terrible of descriptions, rather give you the hint to visit ,its a must, fantastic Church, deserves more fame. http://www.cathedraledumans.fr/

You have more of the above in the tourist office, but here either the left or right nave has gorgeous chapels as well. The stained glass is wonderful and look up the Christ in wood arms raise at the altar, the chapel of the Virgin and musiciens angels, are gorgeous. A must to see if only reason to visit Le Mans.

Not to mention the cité Plantagénet with its old wooden houses and quaint old Streets, and the ramparts well preserve.  After getting some goods supplies in breads and chocolates and terrine du mans, we headed for the Museum of 24 hours of Le Mans.

The Musée des 24 Heures-Circuit de la Sarthe is a bit outside the city center. It is located right next to the circuit of races for the famous car race the 24 hours of Le Mans. It has a wonderful boutique shop where we took some souvenirs with the boys. From the city center we went out into the D357 road and hook up with the D338 (Blvd Gen Patton) to rue de laigné turn right  the panels leading you to the museum. Of course from Paris you will take direction Angers get on the d323 road and follow signs to museum. this is a must and we will be back for more as the main race is in June 13-15, 2015.  The 24 heures du Mans race course webpage is here http://www.24h-lemans.com/

The museum is set up along a path consisting of the heroes, great car racing folks, then the Legend on the history of the race, then the genious of the car developements, the side pit stops story , the history in technical terms and the actors or the cars themselves.  It is open April to mid  October from 10h to 19h and cost 8,50€ admission; from January to March opens 11h to 18h, as well as Oct to Dec. check for the holidays the museum is closed. http://www.lemusee24h.com/

And we took the road from there to get back home in 3h15 hours. You can see a lot if well planned, and of course, we will be back, so much to see so little time. Having growing up in Daytona Beach and the 24 hrs of Daytona , this is a must to return just for the races, stay tune. Enjoy Le Mans.

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2 Comments to “Le Mans, Sarthe and 24 hrs racing”

  1. We love The Sarthe and often go there for our breaks very near Le Mans. We haven’t visited the city yet, but the little villages around it are just gorgeous and very picturesque. We might just have to drive into the city after reading this and visit the sites, especially the Cathedral of St Julien. Thank for your this.

    Liked by 1 person

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