Mayenne is a French department that is named after the Mayenne River.
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Mayenne is part of the region of Pays de la Loire. The surrounding departments are Manche, Orne, Sarthe, Maine-et-Loire and Ille-et-Vilaine.
This department can be referred as the real French countryside through which the farmers have watched the armies marching back and forward over the centuries.
There are a lot of forests and hills including the Alpes Mancelles that is seldom above 400 meters. The rivers there attract a lot of anglers and boaters.
The capital is Laval and this 11 th century chateau was home of barons and counts. The turbulent history of the town is shielded from the city walls that are still standing.
On the east is positioned Evron that has a medieval basilica. Some parts of this date back to the 10 th century. There are also Gallo-Roman remains. There is an annual meat festival in the first week of September that pays tribute to the abattoirs.
Close to Laval is the Roman city Les Jublains that offers temple, baths and a theater for administration. On the north the forest can be seen from the Mont des Avaloirs that has a new conservation tower that gets energy from the solar cells.
Villages in the vicinity are St Chaneri-le-Garie and the fortified Ste Suzanne that is renamed in the 10 th century to honour her relics that she brought back from the Crusades. These places are very pretty.
More on the south is the Chateau Gontier that is positioned near a fortress on the Mayenne River and nowadays it is the most important veal market in Europe. On the Romanesque St. Jean Baptiste church there are 11 th century frescoes. On the west is positioned Craon that has medieval streets and 18 th century white stone chateau.
Agriculture and stock rising are very famous in this region. A lot of cattle are breed here.
There are also many horses and pigs. It even gave its name to the most prized breed of pigs in western France. There are produced excellent butter and poultry and a lot of honey. The cultivation of wine is limited and the most common beverage is cider. There are raised also wheat, oats, barley and buckwheat and is also a main source of flax and hemp.
There is also a lot of game. The timber consists mainly of beech, oak, birch, elm and chestnut. Here are found antimony, quartz and coal. Some stones like marble, slate and others are quarried.
The industry in this area is flour-milling, brick and tile making, brewing, cotton and wool spinning. Different textile fabrics are produced. The exports consist of agricultural produce, live-stock, stone and textiles. The major imports are coal, brandy, wine, furniture and clothing. This department is served by the western railway.
The capital Laval is the seat of a bishopric of the province of Tours. Other provincial towns are Château-Gontier and Mayenne that are ruled under separate headings. There are some other interesting places like Evron that has a church of the 12 th and 13 th centuries.
Mayenne is one of the 83 departments that were formed during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It is part of the western part of the former province of Maine.
In this part of the department you will find a lot of history and a rich culture of gastronomy. There are some regional specialties like local beef, black and white pudding, cheese, pies, sweet and savoury pancakes. There are also apples, pears and drinks like cider, calvados, pommeau and poire.
On the roads there are signs “Goutez à la Mayenne,” which means local restaurant. You can even visit farms to taste their specialties and buy them if you want.
Tourism office in Pays de la Loire:
Flights from the UK
The region has three international airports: Tours , Nantes and Rennes.
Ryanair flies to Tours and Nantes.
Air France flies to Rennes, Tours and Nantes.
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