Mayenne, Mayenne

Mayenne (French pronunciation: [majɛn]) is a commune in the Mayenne department in north-western France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. It is situated on the river Mayenne.

The Château de Mayenne, and the Mayenne river

Coat of arms
Location of Mayenne
Coordinates: 48°18′43″N 0°37′06″W
RegionPays de la Loire
  Mayor (20142020) Michel Angot
19.88 km2 (7.68 sq mi)
  Density690/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
53147 /53100
Elevation82–159 m (269–522 ft)
(avg. 124 m or 407 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.


In medieval times, the town was the seat of the Lords of Mayenne. The town originated when Juhel II of Mayenne built a monastery near the gate of the pre-existing castle, which led to the formation of the settlement.

Mayenne was besieged twice during the French Wars of Religion, in 1574 and 1590, and suffered substantial damage. It was rebuilt and re-embellished in the following century thanks to the help of Cardinal Mazarin. It however suffered from plague in 1707.

On 9 June 1944, during World War II, it was bombed by the RAF, which caused heavy damage and numerous casualties.

Main sights

  • The Château, built in the 10th century (900-920) is an exceptional example of a palace dating from the Carolingian period. Reception room, tower and cellar are remarkably well preserved. The dungeon and ramparts, built in the 13th century to transform the castle into a fortress, still proudly dominate the river and the town of Mayenne. The vaulted rooms and the chapel still have thirteenth century decorations. The chapel dating from the 19th century with its baroque decoration bears witness to the long period of time he was a prison[2]. Once used as a prison, since 2008 it is home to the "Musée du Château de Mayenne" (the Mayenne Castle Museum).
  • The Basilica of Notre-Dame, founded in 1100. Of the original building, only the piers and the arcades of the nave remain.
  • Romanesque church of St. Martin, enlarged in neo-medieval style during the nineteenth century.

Notable people

Twin towns

Mayenne is twinned with:

See also


  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. "Plan your visit - Musée du Château de Mayenne". Retrieved 26 July 2018.
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