Mantes La Jolie, dogs on a bridge!

Well back in old familiar territory, and again even if written on the town several times, I missed the dogs and the bridge! Mantes la Jolie or Mantes the beautiful just because of Henri IV well read those posts. I like to tell you about the dogs and the bridge on this one.

The city of Mantes-la-Jolie is in the Yvelines department 78 in the Île-de-France region. It is a medium-sized town on the left bank of the Seine river, 57 km from Paris. 47 km from Versailles, and 85 km from Rouen. It is one of the Royal towns of France, see my several posts on it in my blog.

A bit again on the city of Mantes la Jolie I like

Mantes-la-Jolie is crossed in the east-west direction by D113 It constitutes the main axis of the city with the avenue du Général-de-Gaulle, the boulevard du Maréchal-Juin, and avenue de la République. The city is bypassed to the east by the D 983 road which connects it to Magny-en-Vexin and Houdan. Mantes is also linked to Meulan by the D 190 and to Dreux by the D 928. The A13 autoroute de Normandie runs south of town with exit/sorties 11: Mantes-Est; 12: Mantes-Sud ,and 13: Mantes-Ouest . Really to see the sights the best is exit 11 coming from Paris. A very good road network which yours truly has taken on many occasions. The best places to park is at Parking Hotel de Ville ,place Saint-Jacques and Normandie ,place Henri-Dunant in city center.

The train stations of Mantes-la-Jolie and Mantes-Station are served by line J of the Transilien: Paris-Saint-Lazare – Vernon, via Poissy, by the left bank of the Seine river ; Paris-Saint-Lazare – Bréval, via Poissy, by the left bank of the Seine river; and Paris-Saint-Lazare – Mantes-la-Jolie, via Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, by the right bank of the Seine river. And yes folks taken these too especially the via Poissy lines. There is a TGV line here bypassing Paris: Le Havre – Rouen-Rive-Droite – Mantes-la-Jolie – Versailles-Chantiers – Massy-Palaiseau – Lyon-Part-Dieu – Valence TGV – Avignon TGV – Marseille-Saint-Charles, in the morning towards Marseille and in the evening towards Le Havre. I never need to use this one. However, the train service is good on all J lines and very congested too especially at rush hours.

We had come here to see the monuments of course, but also to go to the market always chasing them all over France! Here there is a nice one with great views of the Collegiate Church Notre Dame. The market is held Wednesdays and Saturdays mornings at the marché Couvert du Vieux Pilori 7h30 to 13h and the Marché Centre Ville fleas right by the place du Marché au Blé, 8h30 to 12h30 , and this is where the Christmas market or Marché de Noêl is held too.  While here we always stop at the le Coq Hardi,  25 pl Marché au Blé ,tel +33 (0) 1 71 48 27 79, its a great brasserie bar, with a nice view over the place marché au Blé just around the corner from the Tour St Maclou.

mantes la jolie

Mantes la Jolie

The Vieux Pont de Limay, its one of the oldest bridges in France; document have it from 1050! It connected the city of Limay to the Ile aux Dames. It had 11 arches but was partially destroyed by French resistance trying to slow down the nazi advance in the area 1940. The original bridge had 37 arches!  Famous by painter Jean-Baptiste Corot, painting of the Pont de Mantes (1868) work that is exhibit at the Louvre . Limited restoration work has been done to try to revive the old bridge, now a newer bridge crosses the river Seine at this junction. This is now the pont de Perronnet bridge (photo).

mantes la jolie

As in many cities in France, the origin of this company of the Arquebusier is linked to the handling of weapons, it started with arrows, bows, crossbows, and finally the arquebuses around 1450. The city of Mantes had a bourgeois militia and an elite company of 20 Arquebusiers. Charles VII, in 1452, granted them privileges. Each Arquebusier company had a motto, for Mantes it was the dogs or “les Chiens“, and across teh bridge , Limay was the wolves or  “les Loups” .

In Mantes, it was said of this company of Arquebusiers that they were “the dogs of Mantes”, this is probably the reason for the choice of Arquebusiers to take this animal as an emblem. These dogs have therefore naturally become the emblems of Mantes la Jolie, two magnificent bronzes sculpted by Bernadette Kanter which sit majestically at the entrance to the city facing Limay who opposed him to the wolves. Here by the porte des poissons or porte de l’Etape they built 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 bridge, the house is no longer here, but the dogs remains!

Mantes La jolie

The city of Mantes la Jolie tourist information office is here in French: City of Mantes tourist information desk

The city of Mantes la Jolie on heritage things to see in French: City of Mantes la Jolie on heritage

So there now cover the royal city of Mantes la Jolie; it is nice to go in daytime and see these marvels after all is on the route Paris to Normandy so many miss out that they remain off the beaten path sights. Hope you enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




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2 Comments to “Mantes La Jolie, dogs on a bridge!”

  1. I admire how you post so much – a few posts a day – and you find topics to post about. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

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