Le Mans was midway to our destination so we decided to stop over there to break the journey. All we knew about this town was about motor racing – their most famous is the 24-hour nonstop Le Mans Classic held every July. But we were not prepared to be bowled over by its medieval beauty so we decided to explore it twice – one in the morning and another in the evening – yes, we had to pause at midday to escape the debilitating heatwave ( please go away, heatwave!). I took close to 300 photos from my DSLR and will post the best ones when we get back home.
And oh, by the way, the Old Town has been the location for some films: Le Mans of Steve McQueen, Cyrano de Bergerac of Gérard Depardieu, among others.
This house tells about 900 years of history as seen from its French Gothic (12thC) styled lower floor and half-timbered (16thC) upper floor.
This tympanum of St Julien church (11thC) shows Christ the King surrounded by the apostles and other figures.
Would be a dream to live in a tower house like this. ..but with Charlie, a garden is a must!
To reach the cathedral and the old town, you can climb these series of stone steps just like we did in the morning. We went back for a second tour at 8pm (just when the heatwave was abating) and took the sloping ramparts instead, which was better because we got to see more staggeringly beautiful flower-decked façades of houses and buildings.
If only I could stay here for one day only, a house so steep in history. .
This Roman fortification is 2,000 years old and surrounds the Old Town with its two beautiful medieval churches, gardens and houses that take your breath away..
Scouting for a place to have lunch..
We see a lot of stones like these leaning on houses, they serve as barriers for protection against passing vehicles. The roads are narrow so, yes, it’s so easy to smash those walls especially if the driver has drunk too much wine.
I told the waiter I’d like to try the specialty of the region and he suggested this Cocotte Sarthoise. It’s a mix of rabbit, chicken and pork ham, bits of cabbage and carrot all stewed in cream sauce. Delicious but I had to share it with Charlie as there’s so much meat on it.