Le Mans

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Mans, Le

(lə mäN), city (1990 pop. 148,465), capital of Sarthe dept., NW France, on the Sarthe River. The historical capital of Maine, it is also an important manufacturing, commercial, educational, and communications center. Its service industries, especially insurance, are important. Le Mans, which dates from pre-Roman times and before Charlemagne was a Merovingian capital, has witnessed frequent sieges and battles throughout its history. The Cathedral of St. Julien du Mans (11th–13th cent.), which contains the tomb of Berengaria, queen of Richard Cœur de Lion (Richard I of England), is partly Romanesque; its Gothic part has perhaps the most daring system of flying buttresses of any Gothic cathedral. Le Mans was the birthplace of Henry II of England and John II of France. Today, Le Mans is famous for its annual international auto race, which is run on local roads.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Le Mans

 

a city in northwestern France, on the Sarthe River; administrative center of Sarthe Department. Population, 148,000 (1968). Le Mans is a transportation junction. Television sets, automobiles, airplanes, and motors are produced there. Le Mans also has textile, chemical, and food-processing industries.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Le Mans

a city in NW France: scene of the first experiments in motoring and flying; annual motor race. Pop.: 146 105 (1999)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005