The earliest origins of Fresnay back to the 6th century where we note the presence of a dozen families on the site "Fraxinidum". It was not until the ninth century that the history of the city actually begins with the construction of the castle in 877 under the leadership of Charles the Bald. In fact the site seems ideal for the installation of a fortress as located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Sarthe. Despite this, the city, known at the time as the Fresnay-le-Vicomte, undergo several assaults, those of William the Conqueror and later those of the English. With the attack of the English during the Hundred Years War, a native of the region will be honored: Ambroise de Lore, companion of Joan of Arc, named Captain of the city in recognition of his bravery.
Over the following centuries Fresnay be known for its hemp fabrics. This economy will mark the landscape of the city including the district of Bourg Neuf which lists many houses of weavers. The architecture of the houses is recognizable outside staircase leading to the first floor the only part of life, and at the bottom, slightly buried the weaving.
Fresnay-le-Vicomte become Fresnay-sur-Sarthe after the Revolution.
The Notre Dame built in the 12th century, then it has a single nave ending in a chamber choir. After various damages caused by war and weather, the church will be restored and enlarged. The last restoration dates from the second half of the 19th century, a period of addition of the transept.
The portal of the church: the western entrance of the church is marked by a remarkable portal carved oak. It dates from 1528 and is the work of the Brothers Dienis, local artists who worked in various buildings in the area. This portal is a side with the Old Testament illustration of the Tree of Jesse and the other New Testament including the representation of the 12 Apostles.
The castle gate: one of the best preserved parts of the old fortress. It dates from the 14th century and consists of two circular towers connected by a central building that houses the machinery of the drawbridge and portcullis. Element of defense, she also served as a prison.
The library of Fresnay-sur-Sarthe: Adult space, amphitheater, children's area, teen space, space music and multimedia. Contacts: 12 bis rue du Docteur Horeau - February 43 33 35 41. Open Tuesday from 17h to 19h on Wednesday from 10am to 12.30pm and from 14h to 16h30, Saturday from 10am to 12.30pm and from 14h to 16h30.