Laval, a great town!

And here I go again, wonderful time updating, revising and changing pictures in my older posts. Wonderful memories indeed and glad we came to Laval. I have several entries on Laval and it is a town worth the detour. To me, it was one of my expatriate bosses native town so had the curiosity to visit it and I did several times. Here is a bit introduction on Laval, a great town for you; hope you enjoy it too.

Following my footsteps a bit away from Bretagne or Brittany I came with the family to Laval. I have passed by here several times and use their train station but this time we saw more , spent more time.  Another wonderful town of the Mayenne, its capital.

We came by car of course, its only just over 2 hrs from my house. Taken the N24 to past Rennes go on the rocade nord and direction Le Mans on the N157, that soon becomes the D57 direction Laval. Our trip began at the parking of des remparts just behind the Hôtel de Ville on Rue Souchu Servinière, it was a Sunday so free parking. We then, started our walk in the city.


The city is the birthright of the House of Laval, one of the most influential and strongest of the families of the Maine and Bretagne. It is the birthplace of Douanier Rousseau, and has a museum to the Naif Arts right in the old castle. Numerous Churches, Catedral and Basilica. It is a city of arts and history of France or Ville d’Art et d’Histoire.

It has  a Wallace fountain, music kiosk dating from 1879 and the columns of Morris; wonderful fountains such as in Place des Quatre-Docteurs-Bucquet and place Saint Tugal dating from the 18C.  The wonderful pont vieux and Pont Aristide Briand , built 1862-1864 with a levy guarded by the levy house. The wonderful jardin de la Perrine on top of a promontory, was an ancient private garden purchase by the city in 1885 surrounded by a manor house from the 18C It has a French, English and Rosary gardens as well as an orangerie from the 19C; animal park with goats, ducks, and rabbits. There you will find the tomb of Douanier Rosseau.  It has the last of the laundry boats in the world such as the Saint Julien and Saint Yves. The Saint Yves is still visible in the jardin de la Perrine, while the Saint Julien still in the waters of the Mayenne river has become a small museum in 1985.


The architecture over the Mayenne river and on the banks of it are very nice, wonderful buildings and hôtel particulières that makes the walk a wonderful time to spent in the city.  We walk pass Place de la Tremoille  a vast square full of wooden houses and the site for three wonderful places to see. First the Musée du Vieux Château , this is the museum on naif art ,and a wonderful place to visit. We move on the Château Neuf or new castle where the architecture is magnificent and well preserve. On the other extreme of the Place Hardy de Lévaré and the place de la Trémoille back fronting the rue Renaise you see the Cathedral of the Trinity or Cathédrale de la Trinité, a nice Cathedral and the seat of the bishops since 1855, year the it became a Cathedral. Actually there was a Church here since 1070.

Moving right along on our sublime walks of the city we came into the Church or église Saint Venerand, a very nice Church by Rue du Pont de Mayenne, that we could not go in as Mass service was been conducted at 10h30 (10:30am). The Church was finished in 1499 and houses wonderful relics brought back from Rome in 1693.  There is a wonderful Kiosque de Musique by the square de Boston next to the river, and statues along the streets.


There is a wonderful must see Jardin de la Perrine, (see post) with great views over the Mayenne river and the city. Wonderful cultural centers such as the musée Adrian Bruneau, and the Espace Alain Gerbault. and here lies the tomb of Douanier (Henri) Rousseau, the great painter.  Do not miss this park garden and see the La Roseraie,French gardens, L’Orangerie, the wonderful trees plants flowers, and animal park (ducks, rabbits, and pigeons etc. This area of Perrine is first name in 1293 and it was created in 1920 as the garden. There is the old laundry boat Saint Yves in the garden, bateau-lavoir.

For late night cultural amusement, the city has a nice Theater, Rue de la Paix. In better weather, and normal river (Mayenne was a bit high due to heavy seas), you can take a look in a laundry boat sort of Bateau-Lavoirs such as the Saint Julien with a small museum since 1985.



We continue walking to the end on the quais along the Mayenne river into the district of Avesniéres and worth the walk to come to the Basilique Notre Dame d’Avesniéres; a wonderful basilica. It is there since the 11C and was raise to Basilica in 1898 by the Pope Leon XIII. Many pilgrimages here to vénérâte Notre-Dame d’Avesnières, as well as many statues and the 14 martyrs guillotine in 1794 during the French revolution and elevated to beautification in 1955. A must to see!

Well we really walk this time, and the family kept up with me, so kudos to them. Many nice side streets quant wooden houses, and towers of old castle, and of course we had lunch. Nothing planned just figure it was nice name as Warner Pub lol! right next to the Cinéville cinema facing the Mayenne river. The Inside was very nice in rich English wood pub style with TV screens , the food delicious if the service was a bit too long. We had our apéros opening drinks from porto red, bloody mary, pina colada, martini gin white, and then the food with a bottle of Côte de Provence rosé; penne with four cheeses, gratin tartiflette, tagliatelle carbonara, pizza Warner, and burger maison (delicious); then desserts from glace créole (coco ice cream), glace pina colada (ice cream), foret noire (black forest cake), all this for 28€ per person. This unfortunately is no longer open, actually it closed not long after we visited. The latest article from France Ouest newspaper tell of a possible new restaurant but not confirm yet that I can see. Another place for the family memories in my blog.



The tourist office of the Mayenne dept. on things to see in Laval:

The Laval tourist office on its heritage:

The city of Laval on things to see:

There you go folks, a nice introduction to a wonderful town, which as said plenty written in my blog. Hope you have the opportunity to visit it,worth the detour indeed. Laval capital of the Mayenne in Pays de la Loire of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the post, and thanks for reading me.

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

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