The Château de Mayenne!!!

And here is one of the best moment of updating my older posts in my blog; that is findind missing links! There is so much and so wonderful travel in my belle France, I sometimes overlook  monuments! This is the case with the Château de Mayenne, a castle museum now which told you already on the museum but feel the castle needs a bit more me think. Therefore, here is my take on the Château de Mayenne! Hope you enjoy it as I!


The city of Mayenne in department Mayenne no 53 on region Pays de la Loire at about 250 km west of Paris .Dominating the banks of the Mayenne river between Le Mans and the littoral of the Manche. Mayenne is located north of the department of the Mayenne between Laval and Domfront, Aleçon, and Fougéres. Before the French revolution it was part of the province of Maine and after split into the Mayenne and Sarthe both in Pays de la Loire.

The transports well this is my usual route now by car to Paris,toll free. The city is crossed by the N12 that links Paris to Brest passing by Alençon, and also connecting to Pré en Pail, Ernée, and Fougéres where you can connect to the A84 connecting Caen to Rennes (and also Vannes) and the autoroute A28 connecting Tours to Abbeville.  You, also have the D23 that follows the course of the Mayenne river going north to south in the department and allows you to connect to Laval, Chateau Gontier and Angers on the south direction, and Domfront and Caen on the north direction. This road ,also allows you to connect with the autoroute A81 north of Laval that goes into Le Mans and Rennes. Amazing ,there is no train station here the one existant was closed long ago.  The region Pays de la Loire has not decided to re open it, in the meantime there are buses on the network Pégase of Mayenne that connects to Laval and other cities in the department (never use it so verify).

A bit of history I like on an old city of Mayenne.  The city of Mayenne first appeared in the Middle Ages on a Roman road connecting Jublains to Vieux near Caen and it was here that you can crossed the Mayenne river. From the Gauls time, the people of Aulerques Diablintes had their capital at Moulay south of the city ,later this was abandoned after the Roman conquest and a new town was built at Jublains. After much fiscal pressure, the territory was attached to the Cénomans of which capital and bishop was at Le Mans; this union of lower maine and upper maine allows the union of the province of Maine.

The Château de Mayenne was founded in the 7C and mentioned for the first time in 778 while Charlemagne gives it to the bishop of Le Mans. It is a noble residence in wood surrounded by a moat, this has disappeared only visible by some holes in the poles. The Bretons that carried wars against the Franks attacked it several times between 840 and 870. The castle bridges are demolished with the exception of the Caisse d’Epargne ; an American soldier J.D Mac Racken sacrifices himself to stop its destruction and later allowed the Allied to force the nazis to run over the Mayenne river,and now carries Mac Racken name.(see post).


The new Château de Mayenne was a former fortified castle, from the 10C, built under the reign of Charles the Simple, and remodeled several times, originally a Carolingian palace, it was redeveloped several times during the Middle Ages, before becoming an 18C prison. The castle will finally be bought by the city of Mayenne in 1936. During major development work carried out in 1993, Carolingian remains were brought to light. This discovery of preserved Carolingian civil or military buildings is extremely rare , and seen in the museum.


The castle dominates the Mayenne river on its south-eastern facade, the spur being bordered to the north by the Danube stream which fed the moat and which is now underground and channeled.. The castle is located on the steps of Bretagne, and like the Château de Laval, (see post) it was responsible for defending Maine against Bretagne, Anjou and Normandie. It thus faces the Breton castle of Fougères. With the borders with Lower Normandie and Bretagne only 18 km to the north and 33 km to the west, the town’s marginal position has long contributed to its strategic importance.


The Château de Mayenne was for its part under royal control from 1592. The castle became a prison in 1745 and a canvas market was built in the courtyard in 1775. The tower on the boulevard for its part accommodated the canvas gauges. A pond   which served as a moat to the west of the castle dried up in 1787. The castle, which continued to accommodate prisoners during the French revolution, was bought in 1815 by an individual, Charles Desjardins. The openings and the roofs are redone, and a wall separates the courtyard in two, in order to delimit the space of the men from that of the women. The grand staircase was completed in 1825, and the commercial court was installed on the tower of the boulevard until 1854. The covered canvas was used as a theater before being replaced by a new construction in 1890. In 1935, the prison was closed and sold to the city of Mayenne, which now owns the entire castle.  On June 21, 2008 the city of Mayenne opened a museum in the castle (see post) The permanent collections are centered on the discoveries made during the archaeological excavations of the site.

The museum castle of Mayenne on the castle history:

The Mayenne tourist office on the museum castle:

There you go folks, now I feel better having given credit in my blog to a nice property itself the Château de Mayenne. An impressive building once driving a car over the Mayenne river! Again hope you have enjoy the post as I

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

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