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Mayenne (Department, France)

Last modified: 2022-03-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: mayenne |
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Flag of Mayenne - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 October 2009

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Administrative data

Code: 53
Region: Pays de la Loire
Traditional provinces: Maine, Anjou
Bordering departments: Ille-et-Vilaine, Maine-et-Loire, Manche, Orne, Sarthe

Area: 5,176 km2
Population (2016): 307,688 inhabitants

Préfecture: Laval
Sous-préfectures: Château-Gontier, Mayenne
Subdivisions: 3 arrondissements, 17 cantons, 242 municipalities.

The department is named after river Mayenne (185 km), which joins the Sarthe to constitute the Maine.
On 21 July 1824, the municipality of Madré was transferred from the department of Orne to the department of Mayenne, while the municipality of Saint-Denis-de-Villenette was transferred from Mayenne to Orne, suppressing two enclaves / exclaves.

Ivan Sache, 13 April 2019

Flag of Mayenne

The flag of the Departmental Council of Mayene is white with the Council's logo (photo, photo).
In 2015, General Councils were renamed to Departmental Councils. The Departmental Council of Mayenne modernized its logo and the words "Conseil général" were replaced by the words "Le département".

The modernized logo was unveiled on 7 June 2015. Pegasus, featured since 1988 on the logo, was "re-designed in a refined style", so that it is now "elegant, modernized".
[Ouest-France, 8 June 2015]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 27 April 2019

Flag of the former General Council


Flag of the former General Council of Mayenne - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 October 2009

The flag of the former General Council of Mayenne (photo, photo) was white with the Council's logo.
The logo shows on a white background a red stylized winged horse (Pegasus), above the writing "LA MAYENNE" / "CONSEIL GÉNÉRAL", in black letters, separated by a grey horizontal line.

Pegasus recalls that Mayenne has alwyas been famous for horse breeding. Some 10% of the French racing horses are trained in the Department of Mayenne, which has 11 racetracks, including three of first category (Laval, Craon and Meslay-du-Maine). Horse training and racing employs 700 in the department.
Founded in 1991, the Department's Equitation Comittee has developed equitation; the department has now more than 1,500 members registered with the French Federation of Equitation, 6 horse-riding centers, 6 poney clubs and 5 horse-riding schools affiliated with the Federation.
The Pégase Mayenne research unit, managed by the General Council at the Laval Hospital, is the first French unit in comparative equine and human sports medicine.
Founded in 1986, the Department's Equestrian Tourism Comittee manages more than 1,000 km of bridle paths, including 85 km of towpaths along river Mayenne.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 27 April 2019

Banner of the department


Banner of Mayenne - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 21 December 2020

The banner of arms of Mayenne is flown on the castle of La Basmaignée (photo), in Montenay. This is an initiative of the castle's private owners.

Originally built during the 18th century by the Dubois de la Basmaignée family who had been living on the land since the 16th century, and to whom it belonged up to the French Revolution, when it was then taken over by the State, the castle has since known a succession of different owners, purposes, phases of renovation and transformation, families, and, sadly, it has also been through some periods of neglect. Home to a General of Napoleon’s entourage and its descent throughout the 19th century, it was then completely taken down and rebuilt, between the 1890s and 1921, date of completion of the current building, which makes it one of the youngest castles of France. Kindly lent to the Church during WWII, the castle was run as a hospital for injured, sick or unbalanced women, and then as a religious retreat home for young people for a few years, before returning to the family whose summer house it was for the last 80 years of the 20th century.
[Castle history]

The coat of arms of Mayenne, adopted in 1966, is "Azure in chief a lion passant gardant and in base two fleurs de lis in fess or a bordure gules overall a pale wavy ermine".
Combining elements from the coat of arms of Anjou (the field azure, the border gules and the fleurs-de-lis or), Normandy (the leopard or) and Brittany (the ermine spots), the arms recall the location of the department on the borders of the three provinces. The wavy pale represents river Mayenne, crossing the department from north to south.


Banner of the department of Mayenne - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 October 2009

The General Council of Mayenne has set up a partnership with the German District of Swabia. The hall where the partnership convention was signed was decorated with vertical banners, including a banner of the Department of Mayenne (photo), probably made specifically for the event, vertically divided blue-red with the department's coat of arms overall in the upper part of the flag.

Olivier Touzeau, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 21 December 2020

Departmental firefighters


Flag of the Departmental firefighters - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 December 2020

The flag (photo) of the Department firefighters (SDIS - Service départemental d'incendie et de secours) is white with the service's logo in the center.

Olivier Touzeau, 27 December 2020