Vieux Mans

Old Town in Le Mans

Often used as a location for films set in the Middle Ages, Le Mans' old city and its picturesque, stone-paved lanes – and tiny vineyard – are surrounded by Gallo-Roman walls and towers (dating from the late 3rd century AD), designed to impress any passing barbarians with the supreme power of the Roman Empire. The impressive 134m-long cathedral mixes Romanesque and Gothic elements. Steep stairways link the old city with the Sarthe River.