On the road

Department: Mayenne (53)

Region: Pays de la Loire
Population: 307,085 inhabitants
Surface area: 5,175.2 km2
Prefecture: Laval
Sub-prefectures: Mayenne, Château-Gontier-sur-Mayenne
Specialities: cheeses (Port-Salut, Chaussée aux Moines, Chamois d'Or, Fol épi, Camemberts Président and Bons Mayennais, Babybel)
Personalities: Henri Rousseau, known as Le Douanier Rousseau (painting), Ambroise Paré (French anatomist, father of modern surgery), Alfred Jarry (poet, writer and playwright), Marc and Yvon Madiot, Jacky Durand, André Foucher, Alain Meslet, François Pervis (cycling)
Sport: Stade Lavallois Mayenne FC (football, National), equine industry (nearly 10,000 horses in farms, 10 racecourses including 3 first category). Events : Boucles de la Mayenne (cycling). The town of Bonchamp has been elected twice as the most sporting town in the Pays de la Loire region.
Economy: high density of SMEs, food companies (Lactalis, Bel, Perreault, Vaubernier, Monbana, Réauté, Les Gorronnaises).
Heritage: medieval town of Sainte-Suzanne classified as "One of the most beautiful villages in France"; ancient town of Jublains; Mont des Avaloirs (highest point in the Grand Ouest, 417 m.); Refuge de l'Arche in Château-Gontier-sur-Mayenne (animal shelter); Basilica of Pontmain; Robert Tatin Museum (creator of the "Maison des Champs")
Festivals: Les 3 Eléphants (contemporary music, Laval, end of May), Au Foin de la Rue (contemporary music, Saint-Denis-de-Gastines), Laval Virtual (international meetings on virtual and augmented reality).
Websites and social networks: www.lamayenne.fr / Facebook @departement.lamayenne / Instagram @departement53 / Twitter @lamayenne / www.m-mayenne.fr / Facebook @McommeMayenne / Instagram @mcommemayenne / Twitter @mcommemayenne / www.mayenne-tourisme.com / Facebook @mayennetourisme / Instagram @MayenneTourisme / Twitter @MayenneTourisme

We say M for Mayenne!

Gateway to Brittany, gateway to the Great West, close to the sea. 1h10 from Paris by TGV, Mayenne is a land of balance: proud of its heritage and connected, faithful and innovative. It is a land of character and attachment, with deeply rooted values – solidarity, proximity and excellence. It is a way of being and doing, with passion, authenticity and audacity. We love it for its economic dynamism, its entrepreneurial spirit and its quality of life.
With an unemployment rate of 5.2%, Mayenne is the third lowest in France. These good results are above all the result of a tradition and a "Mayenne model". Most of these are family businesses, built by craftsmen who became entrepreneurs and who have developed without leaving their village and act, beyond employment, locally for the life of the territory. These are managers who have preferred investment to dividends, devoting all their strength to their own development. This success can also be explained by a taste for entrepreneurship, the culture of work well done, creativity and mutual aid between Mayennais. The voluntarist political action carried out in Mayenne for several years to open up the roads and railways and to deploy high-speed internet (...) supports this desire to undertake.

Km 5

Saint-Germain-le-Fouilloux (Pop: 1,200)

Its 12th century Saint-Germain church, with listed choir stalls, and its 18th century castle, listed as a Historic Monument in 2016.

Km 8

Saint-Jean-sur-Mayenne (Pop : 1,650)

In the commune, there is an oppidum, Château Meignan, which indicates an ancient population, and a 19th century château, La Chaussonnerie, housing a listed 17th century bell.

Km 11

Louverné (Pop: 4,400)

A commune renowned for its ancient marble quarries; the black marble of Louverné. Known since the 11th century and formerly called Saint-Martin-de-Louvernay, then Louvernay, the commune first divided its activities between agriculture and home weaving (17th and 18th centuries). The lime industry became very important with the arrival of the railways around 1854. This activity really took off in the 19th century with the establishment of a large lime-making centre in Louverné, on the edge of the railway line.

Km 16

Bonchamp-lès-Laval (Pop: 6,000)

Named Parrochia de Malo Campo in the 11th century, then Bono Campo in 1241, the current name of the commune can be found on documents in the national library dating from 1312. Historically, the commune was made up of the town and a hundred or so villages, closeries, farms and districts. Its 11th century Cassine chapel has been listed as a Historical Monument since 1926. Philippe Dalibard (1958) is a native of the commune. He was the French amateur road cycling champion in 1981 and was the sporting director of the Bretagne-Armor Lux team, then Bretagne-Schuller from 2007 to 2009.

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