---Sarthe logo--- The Sarthe region---Image of Race---

The regional map

---Regional map---

Some facts about the Sarthe...

* Surface Area: 6200kmē
* Prefecture: Le Mans
* Population: 513393 inhabitants (1994)

A brief history of the region

When the departments of France were created back in 1790, the old Province of Maine was divided into 2 departments, the Sarthe & the Mayenne.

Before this time the Sarthe has been the scene of fierce battles between opposing forces, been under the reign of Normandy, Anjou, & for a long time the English. (see history of Le Mans for more information)

Since these incidents the Sarthe has prospered in all forms of development. The growth of modern means of transport in the XIXth century contributed to the industrial development of the region. After the First World War the development of agri-food-stuffs processing in the area became a major investment; then Renault located to Le Mans, & combined with the 24 hour race, the city became the capital of the motor car.

What has the Sarthe got to offer ?...

Twenty milllion people live within a radius of 124 miles, 12 million of them in the greater Paris area.

A motorway network running in three main directions means troublefrre traffic flow. And there are intrnational haulage companies here to provide all your transport needs. The "Atlantic Arc" North-South link between Tours, Bordeaux & Spain & Rouen, Calais and Great Britain scheduled for completeion in 1988, will further extend your sphere of action.

The Sarthe is a busy section of the route taken by the high speed train, TGV-Atlantique, betwwen Le Mans and Paris, with 17 trains running daily in each direction at 186m.p.h. The network is being further extended and will eventually cover the whole of Europe.

Paris-Orly international airport is just one and a half hours away by motorway. The Le Mans airfield, which is on the 24 hour race course, has a 1550 yard landing strip for business flights.

The sea-ports of Nantes-St.Nazaire and Rouen-Le Harve are about 124 miles away & are served by excellent transport routes.

Although it is the home of the hardest test which the very latest prototypes are put through, there is much more to Le Mans than the annual 24 hour race. It is also home to a wide range of industries focuused on various activities, which makes the Sarthe an ideal business location. There is a constant co-operation between the university & industry.

A technology transfer centre has been set up to promote applications of innovative ideas in the fields of Acoustics, Materials and Process Engineering. All local employers agree that the workforce in the Sarthe is both reliable & committed to the prosperity of their companies.

What will you find in the Sarthe...?

* Economic life

. Agriculture
. Industry
. Building & Civil Engineering
. Commercial, Financial & Transport services
. Fabrics & Food-stuff production

* Culture

. Old Le Mans & the Cathedral
. Abbeys - Priories - Châteaux
. National Military Academy
. Museums & permanent exhibitions
. Mills
. Antoigné foundries
. Parks & gardens
. Places of interest
. Forests
. Crafts
. Picturesque villages
. Farm visits - Local produce - Gastronomy

* Sports & leisure activities

. Flying clubs
. Driving
. Mountaineering - Rock climbing - Trekking - Caving - Skiing
. Cycling tours
. Golf courses
. Equestrian activities
. Wildlife parks
. Recreation parks
. Lakes & rivers
. Rambling
. Bungee jumping
. Tennis
. Scenic railways
. River cruising
. Sailing & windsurfing
. Mountain-biking

For more information contact

Office de Tourisme
Hôtel des Ursulines
Rue de l'Etoile
72000 Le Mans

Tel: 43 28 17 22
Fax: 43 23 37 19

* Return to the 24 hour home page