The streets and alleys of the city of Plantagenet, such as the Grande Rue, are lined with more than a hundred half-timbered houses, including 101. Most of them date from the 15th and 16th centuries.


For a few years, the houses have been progressively recovering their original colors, blue, green or red, red and ochre as far as the colors of the 101 grand street are concerned. Today, craftsmen and restaurants occupy the old mansions that were on the ground floor of these houses. Among those, we find the "auberge des 7 plats", art galleries, the workshop "La clef d'ivoire" : piano tuner and repairer but also sale and rent of instruments, wine merchants...



Le Mans is a very old city which existed since the Celtic era. Even before the Roman conquest by Julius Caesar in the 1st century BC, its name was Vindunum. During the Gallo-Roman period it was also called Subdunum and its name gradually evolved into Le Mans, the city of the Cścuteans (from the name of the Gaulish tribe). In the Middle Ages, Le Mans was the capital of a county which was to become part of the Anjou county and then the Plantagenet Empire.


Le Mans was once known as the red city. This nickname comes from its fortifications built in the Gallo-Roman era in red brick.


It is the only city in France to have kept its 3rd century fortifications in a good state of preservation. The historical heart of Le Mans was recently named Plantagen. Since 2003, Plantagen signs the historic heart of Le Mans in homage to the birth of the Plantagen dynasty in this city.


The historical heart gathers 1700 years of architecture.



About 4000 years ago, a menhir was erected on a hill overlooking the Sarthe River. Standing on this site of the Vieux-Mans (today Cité Plantagenêt), the menhir is the oldest stone in the history of Manche. This raised stone, long considered as the "navel" of Le Mans, has been the object of various cults making it the center of the universe or a symbol of fertility. As a sign of peace, it was saved from destruction by Saint Julian, who came to Christianize Le Mans in the 4th century. The religious would have coifed it with a cross which has since disappeared. The menhir was attached to the cathedral during its construction. It is the last remaining part of a place where there were other sacred stones.


You can go and see it 500 m from the 101, going up the main street (towards the Cathedral), continue straight ahead in the Rue de la Reine Bengue (pass in front of the museum), then go down the Rue de la Bengue; You will arrive at the Place du Cardinal Grente where you can admire this ancient vestige once you have found it. We can also accompany you there.



This historic site is a testimony to the history of the city of Le Mans. The region was invaded by the Roman legions in 57 BC while the city was occupied by the Celtic Aulercians, Cśmuteans. In the ancient times, Le Mans was known as Vindinium. Over the centuries, Le Mans has continued to develop in several sectors. Indeed, to this day, Le Mans still fascinates by its history. But in order to understand the current prestige of the city, it is essential to know its origins. The origins of the city of Le Mans.


Claudius Ptolomeus was the first person to spread the fame of the Roman city of Vindinium. It was then the capital of the Aulerci, a sub-tribe of the Aedui. In addition to the name of Vindinium, Le Mans was also known as Civitas Cenomanorum or City of Cenomanus. As the French language gradually replaced the Vulgarian Latin, Cenomanus became Celmans. The prefix Cel-, with a French consonance, was related to the words "this" and "that". It is therefore not too surprising that cel was previously replaced by "the".



The imprint of the Plantagen dynasty is strongly anchored in the history of Le Mans. In fact, the alliance between Plantagenets and Le Mans took place on June 17, 1128. It was on this date that the marriage of Geoffrey Plantagenet and Matilda, respectively the Count of Anjou and Maine and widow of the German Emperor Henry V, was sanctified. Geoffery's handsome appearance earned him the nickname "the Handsome". The name Plantagenet was given to him for his habit of wearing a twig in his hat. In fact, the name Plantagenet comes from the Latin name of the "branch", planta and genista which means "broom factory".


Today, Le Mans is marked by many things from the Plantagenet era. The ancient capital of Maine seems to be a testimony of the glory of this beautiful era. The architecture that dominates the city has remained the same as that of the Beau period, with buildings with walls and windows similar to those of the apartments of the Plantagen counts and rulers. The administrative rooms are also similar. The architecture of the present city hall, the collegiate church of St. Peter and the Court, is a good example of the beautiful history of the Plantagen dynasty.


Le Mans, this "historic" city, is marked by a tumultuous history. The origins of the city are as fascinating as the appearance of its streets today.



Traduction : www.deepl.com