|Region||Pays de la Loire|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Michel Angot|
|Area1||19.88 km2 (7.68 sq mi)|
|• Density||690/km2 (1,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|INSEE/Postal code||53147 / 53100|
|Elevation||82–159 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.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
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, 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 English aeroplanes, which caused heavy damage and numerous casualties.
- The Château, built in the eleventh century over remains of a Carolingian edifice. It has five towers, only one of which has kept its original conical roof. The vaulted rooms and the chapel have thirteenth century decorations. Once used as a prison, since 2008 it is home to a museum.
- The Basilica of Notre-Dame, founded in 1100. Of the original building, the piers and the arcades of the nave remain.
- Romanesque church of St. Martin, enlarged in neo-medieval style during the nineteenth century.
- Guy Chantepleure, writer
- Paul Delaunay, physician and historian
- Elias Durand, pharmacist and botanist
- Marc Joulaud, politician
- Édouard Lambert, sports shooter
- Jean-François Rivière, footballer
- Romain Salin, footballer
- Michel Tronchay, priest and historian
- Élie Sauvage (1814–1871), playwright
Mayenne is twinned with:
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