Le Mans Museums
(Le Mans, Pays de la Loire, France)
Le Mans boasts many historical connections, from the Romans to the Plantagents.
Evidence of these can be found within the city's many appealing museums and cultural attractions, several of which are housed in particularly beautiful historical buildings.
Ranging from natural history and motor cars, the museum collections in Le Mans offer something of interest to everyone.
Musée Automobile de la Sarthe
Address: 442 Rue de Laigné, Le Mans, France, FR
Tel: +33 0243 72 72 24
Located on the edge of the Bugatti and Sarthe circuits, this museum is a car-lovers' paradise. Exhibits cover everything from the early history of motor racing through to what makes a car engine tick. The Musée Automobile de la Sarthe also includes a superb collection of 150 vehicles dating back as far as the late 19th century, including racing cars connected with some of the biggest stars past and present. Other attractions include audio-visual shows, a simulated high-speed track and a chance to walk the track.
Open hours: daily, June to September - 10:00 to 19:00; October to December and March to May - 10:00 to 18:00
Address: 204 Avenue Jean Jaurès, Le Mans, F-72000, France, FR
Tel: +33 0243 47 39 94
Le Mans opened its natural history museum, Musée Vert, as recently as 1995. Its collection comprises some 2,000 specimens, including birds, mammals and insects, as well as shells, plants, fossils, minerals and rocks.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00; Sunday - 12:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, children free
Maison de l'Eau
Address: 43 Rue de l'Estérel, Le Mans, F-72100, France, FR
Tel: +33 0243 50 38 45
This museum forms part of Le Mans' Arche de Nature. As well as a number of large aquariums, visitors can also discover for themselves the eco-systems of local rivers. There is even a restored water treatment works dating back to the early 20th-century.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday, July and August -14:00 to 18:00 Wednesday and Sunday, September to June -14:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, children free when accompanied by an adult