Sarthe

Sarthe (French pronunciation: [saʁt]) is a department of Pays de la Loire situated in the Grand-Ouest of the country. It is named after the River Sarthe, which flows from east of Le Mans to just north of Angers.

Sarthe
Prefecture building of the Sarthe department, in Le Mans

Flag

Coat of arms
Location of Sarthe in France
Coordinates: 48°17′N 0°13′E
CountryFrance
RegionPays de la Loire
PrefectureLe Mans
SubprefecturesLa Flèche
Mamers
Government
  President of the General CouncilRoland du Luart
Area
  Total6,206 km2 (2,396 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)
  Total567,561
  Rank46th
  Density91/km2 (240/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number72
Arrondissements3
Cantons21
Communes354
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

History

In the late 18th century, before it was officially Sarthe, the nobility built their Mansions and Chateaus there, as an escape from Paris.

The department was created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, pursuant to the law of 22 December 1789, starting from a part of the province of Maine. The latter was divided into two departments, Sarthe to the east and Mayenne to the west.[1]

In Roman times, this province contained the city of Mans, and many of its ruins are still standing. The Roman Thermal Bathhouse attracts many tourists, as does the Theater of Aubigné-Racan, both located on the outskirts of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine.

Marin Mersenne, perhaps the most important scientific figure in the early 17th century, was born in the vicinity of Sarthe.

Geography

The department of Sarthe is at the north end of the administrative region of Pays-de-la-Loire. It is south of Normandy and on the southern edge of the Armorican Massif. It is bordered by the departments of Orne, Eure-et-Loir, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire and Mayenne.

Approximately 300,000 people, comprising more than half of the department's population, live in Le Mans, its conurbation, or the essentially urban communes close by. The rest of the department retains a rural character, with agriculture as the chief part of the economy.

The arrival of the railways in 1854 boosted trade for the local economy. A TGV connection was constructed in 1989, connecting the community to high-speed transport.

In terms of road connections, the A11 autoroute, which was constructed to Le Mans from the east in 1978, enhances Sarthe's strategic position as the gateway to the French west.

Demographics

Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801388,143    
1806410,380+1.12%
1821428,432+0.29%
1831457,372+0.66%
1841470,535+0.28%
1851473,071+0.05%
1861466,155−0.15%
1872446,603−0.39%
1881438,917−0.19%
1891429,737−0.21%
1901422,699−0.16%
1911419,370−0.08%
1921389,235−0.74%
1931384,619−0.12%
1936388,519+0.20%
1946412,214+0.59%
1954420,393+0.25%
1962443,019+0.66%
1968461,839+0.70%
1975490,385+0.86%
1982504,768+0.41%
1990513,654+0.22%
1999529,851+0.35%
2006553,484+0.63%
2011565,718+0.44%
2016567,561+0.07%
source:[2]

Politics

The department was the electoral base of former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who since 2012 sits in the National Assembly of France for a constituency in central Paris.

Current National Assembly Representatives

ConstituencyMember[3]Party
Sarthe's 1st constituency Damien Pichereau La République En Marche!
Sarthe's 2nd constituency Marietta Karamanli Socialist Party
Sarthe's 3rd constituency Pascale Fontenel-Personne La République En Marche!
Sarthe's 4th constituency Stéphane Le Foll Socialist Party
Sarthe's 5th constituency Jean-Carles Grelier The Republicans

Tourism

See also

References

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