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The basilica of Our Lady of Pontmain
The basilica of Our Lady of Pontmain
Coat of arms of Pontmain
Coat of arms
Pontmain is located in France
Location within Pays de la Loire region
Pontmain is located in Pays de la Loire
Coordinates: 48°26′22″N 1°03′26″W / 48.4394°N 1.0572°W / 48.4394; -1.0572Coordinates: 48°26′22″N 1°03′26″W / 48.4394°N 1.0572°W / 48.4394; -1.0572
Country France
Region Pays de la Loire
Department Mayenne
Arrondissement Mayenne
Canton Gorron
 • Mayor (2008–2020) Marie-Antoinette Guesdon
Area1 7.17 km2 (2.77 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 879
 • Density 120/km2 (320/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code 53181 /53220
Elevation 134–210 m (440–689 ft)
(avg. 180 m or 590 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.

Pontmain is a commune in the Mayenne department in north-western France.


On 17 January 1871, some children from the village claimed to see an apparition of the Virgin Mary in the sky. February 2, 1872, Mgr. Wicart, bishop of Laval, recognised the apparition. :

Nous jugeons que l'Immaculée Vierge Marie, Mère de Dieu a véritablement apparu, le 17 janvier 1871, à Eugène Barbedette, Joseph Barbedette, Françoise Richer et Jeanne-Marie Lebossé, dans le hameau de Pontmain.

We judge that the immaculate Virgin Mary, mother of God has veritably appeared, on January 17, 1871, to Eugène Barbedette, Joseph Barbedette, Françoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie Lebossé, in the hamlet of Pontmain.

A new church was built in the commune after this apparition between 1873 and 1877. It was erected with a basilica by Pope Pius X in 1908. During World War I, a concentration camp existed in Pontmain. This camp was reserved for civil inmates who lived there with families. In the camp were inmates from Austria, Alsace, Lorraine, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ottoman Empire etc. On 1 July 1972, the municipalities of Saint-Ellier-du-Maine and Saint-Mars-sur-la-Futais was associated with Pontmain. This association was dissolved on 1 January 1983.

The railroad[edit]

Pontmain was served by the departmental railroad line connecting Laval to Landivy. This line was opened on 18 December 1901. Its closure was decided by the county council on 22 May 1938.

See also[edit]