The Château de Boisclaireau, residence of the Gueroust family, Counts of Boisclaireau, in Sarthe.

Sarthe (French pronunciation: [saʁt] (listen)) is a department of the French region of Pays de la Loire, and the province of Maine, situated in the Grand-Ouest of the country. It is named after the river Sarthe, which flows from east of Le Mans to just north of Angers. It had a population of 566,412 in 2019.[3]

History

In the late 18th century, before it was officially Sarthe, the nobility built their Mansions and Chateaux there, as an escape from Paris.

The department was created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, pursuant to the law of 22 December 1789, starting from a part of the province of Maine. The latter was divided into two departments, Sarthe to the east and Mayenne to the west.[4]

In Roman times, this province contained the city of Mans, and many of its ruins are still standing. The Roman Thermal Bathhouse attracts many tourists, as does the Theater of Aubigné-Racan, both located on the outskirts of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine.

Marin Mersenne, perhaps the most important scientific figure in the early 17th century, was born in the vicinity of Sarthe.

Geography

The department of Sarthe is at the north end of the administrative region of Pays de la Loire. It is south of Normandy and on the southern edge of the Armorican Massif. It is bordered by the departments of Orne, Eure-et-Loir, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire and Mayenne.

The arrival of the railways in 1854 boosted trade for the local economy. A TGV connection was constructed in 1989, connecting the community to high-speed transport. In terms of road connections, the A11 autoroute, which was constructed to Le Mans from the east in 1978, enhances Sarthe's strategic position as the gateway to the French west.

Principal towns

The most populous commune is Le Mans, the prefecture. Approximately 370,000 people, comprising 65% of the department's population, live in the Le Mans urban area. The rest of the department retains a rural character, with agriculture as the chief part of the economy. As of 2019, there are 4 communes with more than 10,000 inhabitants:[3]

Commune Population (2019)
Le Mans 143,847
La Flèche 14,858
Sablé-sur-Sarthe 12,125
Allonnes 11,167

Demographics

Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801388,143—    
1806410,380+1.12%
1821428,432+0.29%
1831457,372+0.66%
1841470,535+0.28%
1851473,071+0.05%
1861466,155−0.15%
1872446,603−0.39%
1881438,917−0.19%
1891429,737−0.21%
1901422,699−0.16%
1911419,370−0.08%
1921389,235−0.74%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1931384,619−0.12%
1936388,519+0.20%
1946412,214+0.59%
1954420,393+0.25%
1962443,019+0.66%
1968461,839+0.70%
1975490,385+0.86%
1982504,768+0.41%
1990513,654+0.22%
1999529,851+0.35%
2006553,484+0.63%
2011565,718+0.44%
2016567,561+0.07%
source:[5][6]

Politics

The department was the electoral base of former Prime Minister François Fillon, who since 2012 sits in the National Assembly of France for a constituency in central Paris. The president of the Departmental Council is Dominique Le Mèner, elected in 2015.

Presidential elections 2nd round

Election Winning Candidate Party % 2nd Place Candidate Party %
2022[7] Emmanuel Macron LREM 55.41 Marine Le Pen FN 44.59
2017[8] Emmanuel Macron LREM 63.33 Marine Le Pen FN 36.67
2012 François Hollande PS 52.67 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 47.33
2007 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 50.42 Ségolène Royal PS 49.58
2002[8] Jacques Chirac RPR 84.43 Jean-Marie Le Pen FN 15.57
1995[9] Lionel Jospin PS 50.79 Jacques Chirac RPR 49.21

Current National Assembly Representatives

Constituency Member[10] Party
Sarthe's 1st constituency Damien Pichereau La République En Marche!
Sarthe's 2nd constituency Marietta Karamanli Socialist Party
Sarthe's 3rd constituency Pascale Fontenel-Personne La République En Marche!
Sarthe's 4th constituency Stéphane Le Foll Socialist Party
Sarthe's 5th constituency Jean-Carles Grelier The Republicans

Tourism

See also

References

External links