Mantes-La-Jolie, France

Mantes-la-Jolie is a city of Yvelines, in region Île-de-France, 55 km northwest of Paris.

The commune has developed on the left bank of the Seine forming a loop south of the forest of Vexin. On an active communication axis inhabited since the Gallo-Roman era, Mantes took its rise from the early Middle Ages with the creation of a port between Paris and Rouen.

A strategic crossroads and therefore sensitive, Mantes now has a castle and remarkable religious buildings. The kings of France were not insensible, and while staying in the city, Henry IV wrote to his mistress Gabrielle d'Estrees: "I am at Mantes, my pretty one," giving her future name to the city. The sovereign established there the government of the country from 1590 to 1593. One of his predecessors, Philippe Auguste, had died in Mantes in 1223.

Over the centuries, the territory of Mantes develops towards the south, and the city remains economically active, while maintaining a residential aspect, along the Seine, that the painters of the nineteenth century will immortalize.

During the same period, however, industries were established, and the population was booming: nearly 5,000 inhabitants after the Revolution, 8,000 in 1901, and 13,000 in the aftermath of the Second World War. Urbanization intensified at the beginning of the 1960s with the development of large ensembles, of which the district of Val Fourré and Mantes-la-Jolie which today counts nearly 44 000 inhabitants must face the consequences of a 1980s social unrest due to this concentration of housing. The result is a number of redevelopment plans and a city policy to revive these neighborhoods.

Having preserved an important historical and natural heritage, offering cultural and sporting infrastructures of first importance, Mantes-la-Jolie deserves a visit or even a stay.

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