Mantes-la-Jolie, Official web site of the City, English version
With its 44,000 inhabitants, Mantes la Jolie is the 3rd largest city in the Yvelines area, on the West of the Paris Region. Its also the central city of the Mantes en Yvelines urban Community, which includes more than 100,000 people.
Located near to the French vexin regional nature Park, Mantes la Jolie is a wonderful example of that old expression « a town in the countryside ».
What is the origin of the name Mantes la Jolie ?
First, you should know that there is 2 Mantes ; Mantes la Jolie and Mantes la Ville, two towns separated by the rails.
The official name was adopeted in 1953 . It refers to a letter sent by the King Henry IV to Gabrielle d’Estrées, his mistress, living in Mantes : « Je suis à mantes, ma Jolie... »
Obtain more informations on :
Mantes la Jolie through centuries, Click here
Mantes la Jolie walled city, Click here
Relics of the fortifications of the city, Click here
Mantes la Jolie, Royal Town
Since the end of 2006, Mantes la Jolie is considered as a « Royal Town », just as Versailles, Rambouillet or Saint-Germain-en-Laye. A label awarded by the Departmental Committee of the Tourism. Indeed, the town history is attached to that of Kings of France.
The Second World War
For a long time, the City took advantage of its status of crossroads between the region of Normandy and Ile-de-France (Paris' region). During the Second World War, this position made Mantes la Jolie a strategic target.
Mantes la Jolie's booming
The fast reconstrcution offers to the City a new face. The post-war economic boom, called golden years, will radically change it.
A new district, Val fourré, is created. But this dense and unsuitable town planning, conjugated to the economic crisis and to the surge of the unemployment, is going to stress the drift of the district.
The time of big projects
Since the middle of the 90s, a series of massive interventions supported by the State transformed the district of Val Fourré. It's not just about towers destructions,
Scheduled development, harmonious reconstructions, and global improvement of the living environment, are very appreciated by the inhabitants.
The Operation of National Interest (OIN)
This Operation of National Interest, started in 2006, is the application of principles which have already worked for the district of Val Fourré, but for a larger region, the Seine Aval, from Bonnières-sur-Seine to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.
Third city of the department of Yvelines, Mantes la Jolie has a primordial role to play into this development and attractiveness project.
The Pavilion Duhamel
This building, in the Louis XVI style, was erected by the architect Maurice Nalet at the request of Victor Duhamel (the uncle of the writer Georges Duhamel) and his wife.
It presents remarkable and unique architecture in the landscape of Mantes la Jolie. This pavilion, which originally is a museum, was conceived to welcome the various collections which Sir Duhamel and his wife had constituted during their travels in Europe, in Asia and in Africa, and given in to the city on condition that the building always remains a museum.
Post-war years, this museum knows many different affectations as a library, a place of exhibition or another music school. Renamed « Pavilion Duhamel », it welcomes thematic meetings, temporary exhibitions, cultural activities and the House of the Memory.
Outdoor, behind the pavilion (side street l' Evesque), you can admire a sculpture of Robert Husset representing a lion.
The Saint-Maclou Tower
“Saint-Maclou is a long and painful history..” said an archpriest of mantes la Jolie in an article of Les amis du Mantois.
Saint-Maclou Tower is the last remains of an old Church of the same name dating VIth century.
With its fearless and elegant architecture, the Saint-maclou tower (classified in historic monuments since May, 18th 1908) is exceptionally opened to the public this year.
She overlooks the landscape of Mantes la Jolie, in particular the marketplace of “Marché du Blé”, for at least 400 years and constitutes a familiar element for all the inhabitants.
Under arches built in the 20th century, you can find signs describing the history of Mantes.
In Baudin’s street, we can see the portals of many beautiful mansions dating XVIth and XVIIth centuries. These hotels, between courtyard and garden, adopt the model of the Parisian hotels.
Rich of French History, and classified historic monuments, these charming hotels are a pearl in the landscape of Mantes la Jolie.
In the feudal time, in western Europe, clods were very common constructions.
From the 10th Century, Mantes la Jolie possessed a castle in the form of a castle mound to defend the border with Normandy.
Linked to the History of France’s King, this castle was formidable by its strategic position near to the region of Normandy.
The castle had witnessed a lot of fights and sheltered many crowned heads.
It was demolished in 1719.
The Tower of Ganne, attached to the castle, would have been built by the Normans about 912. The tower collapses in 1710, and its demolition was finished in 1719.
The Collegiate Church
Notre-Dame Church is opened to visits except Services.
Erected on the place of an old church, the collegiate church was included within the royal castle, which was destroyed in the XVIIIth century. Seat of the brotherhood of traders said “from the Assumption” ; the
collegiate church also possessed the title of royal church. built in four major steps, the collegiate church was inspired by various models, as Notre-Dame of Paris.
The Collegiate church of Mantes la Jolie is classified Historic monuments in 1840.
The Museum of Hotel-Dieu
It is under Charles the 5th ‘s reign that was established the hotel-Dieu. Its front door of Renaissance style is the oldest vestige reached until us.
Nowadays a museum, it is located near the Collegiate church.
Since 2002, the museum is certified « Musée de France ».
The Town Hall
Modern, bright, airy and transparent glass house, its design is the proof that architecture today knows how to be warm, even if it is about administration buildings.
It was built in 2 parts. The first, opened on December 6th, 1951 had the advantage to be visible from the three main arteries of the city : Avenue Of the Republic, National’s and Gambetta’s streets.
The second, was opened on October 14th, 1972. This extension of the Town hall corresponds to the increase of population in Mantes-la-Jolie which already approaches 40 000 inhabitants.
The Town hall is just like the city and its inhabitants.
SNCF’s station of Mantes la Jolie
Mantes la Jolie welcomes the railroad in 1843, with the line from Paris to Rouen.
From the beginning, Mantes’ station was perceived as the main station between Paris and Rouen, a daily train in every direction had its terminus there.
Nowadays, Mantes-la-Jolie still is a main station between Paris and the western regions in France.
The ramparts’ promenade
The city of Mantes-la-Jolie was called Mante or Medunta in the Middle Ages, it was the only city surrounded with ramparts around. It meant that the city was “free”, not under the dependence of a Lord or other feudal power.
This rampart does not exist any more for a long time.
The remparts’ promenade going to show you the vestiges of the fortifications of Mantes, or how in the Middle Ages we defended ourselves from enemies by the construction of a protective wall.
The urban surrounding wall of Mantes, reconstructed towards 1107 under the authority of king Louis VI, suffered many reorganizations. Besieged then destroyed, the surrounding wall is repeatedly reconstructed and strengthened, in particular by Charles V, between 1365 and 1378.
The surrounding wall will be also reshaped under the English occupation from 1419 till 1449 to be adapted to the new artillery. The fortifications are largely demolished in 1739 on order of Louis XV. Vestiges of this surrounding wall, the Saint-martin tower is reshaped from 1419 during the English occupation.
It would maybe have replaced a present building formerly, Mantes’ inhabitants having begun their revolt against the English people in the Saint-martin tower according to Auguste Moutié.
Situated east of the fortified city to defend this part of ramparts, it was just behind the priory Saint-Martin, what gave it its name.
This building is little attested in archives, but it certainly played an important role in the defense of the city. After the dismantling of the fortifications, the tower served as house and undergoes transformations as the extension of openings or the installation of a fireplace.
Currently without allocation, Saint-martin tower is registered on the additional inventory of historic monuments since October 11th, 1965. This tower is included in the ramparts’ promenade.
Sainte-Anne Church of Gassicourt
The old municipality of Gassicourt called « Wascicortis » then « Gassicuria », « Gassicourt-lez-Mante » (1379) and also « Gassicourt-en-Gravois » was annexed to Mantes in 1930.
Of the old village in the rural past, there are only few vestiges except the church saint-Anne.
Today outstandingly restored, the building took place in a set of religious buildings: the priory Saint-Sulpice of Gassicourt, property of the abbey of Cluny.
The Mosque was built in the district of Val fourré on the initiative of believers' association “Union Islamique des Yvelines”, which the founder is the Moroccan Mr. Ali Berka.
The works were, largely, financed by the believers and by the generous Muslim donors. The first stone of the building put on January 30th, 1981. Five months later, on July 1st, a group of believers made the first prayer there.
This mosque of 3000m ² on two levels is the French seat of the World Islamic League ( based in Saudi Arabia), since 2001.
The mosque of Mantes-la-Jolie is one of first buildings of Muslim cult built in Ile-de-France region after the mosque of Paris ( 1922-1926 ). The project gradually built in particular with a support of the catholic parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, where the Muslims used rooms to prepare the construction site.
In 2011, another building site of a new mosque started, established in the district of the Painters (north sector of the Val Fourré).
Saint Jean-Baptiste Church
Saint Jean-Baptiste Church is at the heart of the distric of Val fourré of which the first inhabitants arrive from 1963-64.
In 1966, a temporary chapel is built nearby. It knows its first declaration of faith in June, 1966, then later, its first communion in June, 1968. It is in the same time that we begin the construction works to set up the church Saint-Jean-Baptiste which we know today. The first Mass took place on September 26th, 1969.
This parochial church is frequented by different groups of parishioners today among whom the Portuguese, Sri Lankans and the nationals of many African countries.
We notice very often that the church has a full house during the big ceremonies. The church Saint-Jean-Baptiste is an alive church, which participates and organizes of numerous demonstrated and which witnesses big meetings.
The church Saint-Jean-Baptiste also participates in the meetings betweens Muslims and Christians and is in partnership with the Mosque of Mantes-la-Jolie.
Admirable example of medieval architecture and dominant the Seine, the Museum is located near the Collegiate Church.
Built in the 14th century under the reign of Charles V, and completely reshaped in the 16th and 17h centuries, the museum was managed by the Church. There, nuns look after poor people, pilgrims and orphans.
From the 18h century, the building knows many various occupations. It serves as prison during the Revolution, is then used as home then orphanage.
Closed down in 1854 and sold by prizes lots, it will shelter successively a theater, a café, a cinema and a ballroom, " Le Petit Montmartre ", before being acquired by the city in 1962.
In 1964, the chapel of Hôtel-Dieu is registered on the inventory of Historic monuments for its frontage of the 17th century, classified in 1948.
The restoration of the building finished, the museum of Hôtel-Dieu is inaugurated in June, 1996.
Since 2002, the museum is certified « Musée de France ». It guarantees a set of criteria which these establishments have to answer : To Preserve and conserve, to restore and enrich their collections, to make them accessible to a wide public, to conceive and implement educational and welcome actions, to contribute to the progress of the knowledge and the search and appeal to qualified professionals
Collections of the Museum
The collections exposed in a permanent way form two sets.
On one hand, the medieval works testify of the high quality of the regional artistic production.
One the other hand, paintings and works on paper of the painter Maximilien Luce (1858-1941) illustrate thematics of landscape in Seine's Valley, rising river tourism, industrial development and of the conditions of the man at work.
The temporary programming is based on three axes : Arts and culture, regional heritage and contemporary art, so developing an annual cycle from 2 to 3 exhibitions.
Every event is accompanied with a documentation about exposed works.
Currently at the Museum
- From October, 6th 2012 till January 13th, 2013
Maximilien Luce, de l'esquisse au chef-d'œuvre
- From November 17th 2012 till March 17th, 2013
Cameroun, les arts rituels d'un peuple (Cameroon, the ritual arts of people)
The educational department of the museum suggests a range of activities around the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, open to every public.
Information and reservation : 01 34 78 86 60
On Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: from 1 pm till 6 pm
On Saturday: from 10 am till 12:30 am and from 1:30 pm till 6 pm
On Sunday and holidays: from 1 pm till 7 pm from April till October
and from 2 pm till 6 pm from November till March.
Closed on Tuesdays
Unemployed persons : 1€
Groups (10 and +): 3,05€
Less than 18 years, school,Icom card and 1st Sunday of the month: free
Pass Culture: from 0€ to 20€ according to situation.
Member CAC G.Brassens, Chaplin, Collectif12, The Nacelle and the Cézam card : 3,05€
Except the temporary exhibitions: 2.65€
Museum of Hotel Dieu
1, rue Thiers
78200 Mantes la Jolie
Tel. : 01 34 78 86 60
Fax. : 01 94 78 86 65
Mantes-la-Jolie / Paris : 53Km
Mantes-la-Jolie / Versailles : 42Km
Mantes-la-Jolie / Cergy-Pontoise : 34Km
Mantes-la-Jolie / Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines : 48 Km
Access to Mantes la Jolie by the highway : A13, A14, direction Mantes la Jolie exit n° 11, 12 and 13.
Tam en Yvelines : Tel. : 01 30 94 77 77
SNCF's Station of Mantes la Jolie
Place du 8 Mai 1945
Tel.: 01 30 63 79 60 / 08 36 35 35 35
(Main lines informations)
Mantes Station's Station
Place de L'Europe
Tel. : 01 30 92 45 16
Express A14 Mantes-La Défense
Western Paris Transport Company
Terminal Jules Verne
1, rond point de la Défense, 92400 Courbevoie
More informations : 01 49 03 17 35
Tel. : 06 74 80 56 21
13, boulevard Duhamel
Tel. : 01 34 78 75 01 / 06 11 97 34 66
Borne Taxi (at the main station)
Place du 8 mai 1945
Tel. : 01 30 94 39 39
Radio Taxi Mantes
Tel. : 01 30 94 38 00
Place du 8 Mai 1945
Tel. : 01 30 94 77 77
Opening hours : From Monday to Friday from 7 am till 7 pm
Saturday from 8:30 am till 12 am
ORLY : Passenger information : 01 49 75 15 15
ROISSY : Passenger information : 01 48 62 22 80
PARIS CERGY PONTOISE : 01 30 30 60 60
ROUEN Vallée de Seine : 02 35 79 41 00
PARIS-BEAUVAIS : 03 44 11 46 66
Noctilien Bus (Night-from 1 am till 5 am)
From Saint-Lazare Station (Paris) to Mantes-la-Jolie station and vice versa
Tel. : 0892 68 77 14 (Advisor from 7 am till 9 pm).
From the regions of Dieppe, Rouen, Evreux, Vernon, Mantes-la-Jolie, Paris to Parisian airports and stations
Any distances. 12 vehicles-3 minibuses.
45€ Collective shuttle for Roissy or Orly for 2 persons
Plan your route in Paris
The Vianavigo service allows to organize your route in all Paris region
Definitly open on the world, the City of Mantes la Jolie has been twinned with the Cities of:
- Hillingdon, UK
- Maia, Portugal
- Schleswig, Germany
Every year, for 2 weeks, a meeting about sustainable development is organized alternatly by the 3 twinned cities. The International service of Mantes la Jolie also favour the connection and the collaboration between the various associations of the twinned cities concerning the same theme. Then, some associations work often independently of the Department and directly between together.
Town Hall – Hôtel de Ville – Mantes la Jolie
31, rue Gambetta
78200 Mantes la Jolie
Tel. : +33 (0) 1 34 78 80 00
More informations about twinned cities
The City of Hillingdon
The City of Schleswig
The City of Maia
From some years now, the City of Mantes la Jolie conducts projects of decentralized cooperation with communities of country of origin of people of Mantes la Jolie, particulary Morocco and Senegal. These operations aim at accompanying the development of countries of origin while mobilizing nationals living in Mantes la Jolie (French or Foreign), in order to combine the development of the country of origin and the development of the territory.
More informations about the countries in decentralized cooperation
Morocco: Region of Rabat / City of Rabat
Senegal: Region of matam
Reminder of the principle of the decentralized cooperation
There is « Decentralized Cooperation » when one or more French local authorities develop relations and connections with one or more foreign local authorities. This, can include the establishment of friendship relations or of twinning with foreign regional and local authorities, promotion activities abroad, support for the development of communities in some countries, technical assistance, humanitarian actions, common management of goods and services but also of cross-border cooperation and interregional cooperation.
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