Mantes-la-Jolie is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 based in the Yvelines
Yvelines is a French department in the region of Île-de-France.-History:Yvelines was created from the western part of the defunct department of Seine-et-Oise on 1 January 1968 in accordance with a law passed on 10 January 1964 and a décret d'application from 26 February 1965.It gained the...

 department in the Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 in north-central France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 48.4 km (30.1 mi) from the center
Kilometre Zero
In many countries, Kilometre Zero or similar terms in other languages, is a particular location , from which distances are traditionally measured...

. Mantes-la-Jolie is a sub-prefecture department.


Mantes was half way between the centres of power of the dukes of Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

 at Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

 and the Kings of France at Paris. Along with most of northern France, it changed hands frequently in the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

. Philip Augustus died at Mantes, 14 July 1223.

Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 instituted the manufacture of musical instruments in Mantes, and it was chosen as the centre of brass
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties.In comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin...

 and woodwind instrument manufacture. In the 19th century, painters were attracted to the town, particularly Corot, whose paintings of the bridge and the cathedral are celebrated. Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

 spent the summer of 1920 there orchestrating the ballet Chout
Chout, Op. 21 , is the usual English-language title of a ballet by Sergei Prokofiev, written in two versions between 1915 and 1921. It is sometimes known as "The Tale of the Buffoon", or simply "The Buffoon"...


Originally officially called Mantes-sur-Seine (meaning "Mantes upon Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

"), Mantes merged with the commune of Gassicourt in 1930 and the commune born of the merger was called Mantes-Gassicourt.

Mantes was the location of the first allied bridgehead across the Seine on 9 August 1944, by General Patton's 3rd Army. Major rebuilding was needed after the war.

On 7 May 1953, the commune of Mantes-Gassicourt was officially renamed Mantes-la-Jolie (meaning "Mantes the pretty"), allegedly in reference to a letter of King Henry IV
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

 addressed to his mistress
Mistress (lover)
A mistress is a long-term female lover and companion who is not married to her partner; the term is used especially when her partner is married. The relationship generally is stable and at least semi-permanent; however, the couple does not live together openly. Also the relationship is usually,...

 Gabrielle d'Estrées
Gabrielle d'Estrées
Gabrielle d'Estrées, Duchess of Beaufort and Verneuil, Marchioness of Monceaux was a French mistress of King Henry IV of France, born at either the Château de la Bourdaisière in Montlouis-sur-Loire, in Touraine, or at the château de Cœuvres, in Picardy....

 who resided in Mantes: "I am on my way to Mantes, my pretty".


Inhabitants are called Mantais.

Le Val-Fourré, the largest housing project there, is extremely ghettoized. Immigrants from the Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 (the majority of whom are Morrocan) and sub-Saharan immigrants (mostly from Senegal) reside there. It is the newest district of Mantes-la-Jolie, built in the sixties and seventies, home to 28,000 of the city's total 45,000 inhabitants.


The main monument in Mantes is the cathedral of Notre-Dame dating back to 12th century. A previous church was burnt down by William the Conqueror
William I of England
William I , also known as William the Conqueror , was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II...

 together with the rest of the town, at the capture of which he lost his life in 1087. Modern bridges link Mantes with the town of Limay
Limay may refer to* Limay River, in Patagonia, Argentina* Limay, a commune of Yvelines, France* Limay, a municipality of Bataan, Philippines* San Juan de Limay, a municipio of Estelí , Nicaragua...

 on the other side of the river.


Mantes is home to small businesses working on concrete and chemical processing, but is inevitably drawn into the economic area of nearby Paris.

It is historically and at present a center of musical instrument manufacturing. The well known Buffet-Crampon woodwind factory is located in the neighbourhood city of Mantes-la-Ville
Mantes-la-Ville is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris from the center....



Mantes-la-Jolie is served by two stations on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare
Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare
Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare is one of the sectors in the Paris Transilien suburban rail network. The trains on this sector depart from Gare Saint-Lazare in central Paris, as well as from Noisy-le-Roi station in the suburbs. Transilien services from Paris – Saint-Lazare are part of the SNCF...

 and Transilien Paris – Montparnasse
Transilien Paris – Montparnasse
Transilien Paris – Montparnasse is one of the sectors in the Paris Transilien suburban rail network. The trains on this sector depart from Gare Montparnasse in the southwestern part of Paris. There are three lines in this sector , leading to Rambouillet, Dreux and Mantes-la-Jolie...

 suburban rail lines: Mantes-Station and Mantes-la-Jolie
Gare de Mantes-la-Jolie
Gare de Mantes-la-Jolie is a railway station serving the town Mantes-la-Jolie, Yvelines department, northwestern France. It is situated on the Paris–Le Havre railway and the Mantes-la-Jolie–Cherbourg railway.-Services:...

. The Gare de Mantes-la-Jolie is also served by TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 trains towards Le Havre, Cherbourg, Strasbourg and Marseille.


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External links

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