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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Mayenne

Laval - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Mayenne

Standing on the banks of the River Mayenne, at the heart of the old province of Maine, the town of Art and History of Laval, founded in the 11th century, has kept some remarkable heritage features from its rich past.

The Old Castle is the town's flagship monument and was the residence of the Counts of Laval until 1794. It was built in the 11th-16th centuries and is flanked by an imposing circular keep. Nowadays it is home to a museum of Naive Art, whose exhibits include work by the Laval painter Henri Rousseau aka Le Douanier ("the customs officer"), making for one of the finest collections of Naive Art in Europe!

After admiring the treasures of the Old Castle, lovers of old buildings will find plenty to enjoy on a stroll along the medieval streets of Laval! An ideal opportunity to contemplate reminders from another time, such as the picturesque half-timbered façades with corbels, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, and the Beucheresse gate, a remainder of the medieval wall. One of its machicolated towers was the birthplace of the painter Henri Rousseau.

Not far from the Beucheresse gate, continue your walk along the pretty Anne d'Alègre walkway, at the foot of the ramparts, which will lead you to the splendid Perrine Garden. Overlooking the Mayenne Valley from the top of its rocky spur, this public park is very popular with the people of Laval, with a magnificent rose garden, English-style park and children's play area. A variety of beautiful species, such as cedar, lime trees, giant sequoia, gingko biloba and magnolias, make for a lovely scene...

For a different type of attraction, head to the Lactopôle André Besnier, to find out all about milk and dairy products. With over 4000 objects and documents, it's the biggest milk and cheese museum in the world! Covering over 5000 m², this place is also dedicated to the history of the Lactalis Group, which turned dairy farming from a craft to a hi-tech industry in the 20th century.

In the summer, there is a range of activities on offer to discover or rediscover Laval's many attractions: a sightseeing tour of the town on a pleasure boat, or on the little train; a dramatised, torch-lit tour; a trip in a raft, pedalo or canoe departing from the river stopping place...

Additional information

Founded at the turn of the millennium, Laval has long been a gateway city at the crossroads of the provinces of Normandy, Brittany, Anjou and Maine.

In this location, has preserved a rich architectural heritage which was added without an urban excess in the 19th century.

This wealth earned him the label "City of Art and History" since 1993 and recognized as a town in the countryside where life is good.

Things to see and do

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Performance halls

Events and festivities


City of Laval, the castle, the river
City of Laval, the castle, the river
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Tourist Office of the Country of Laval (Kévin Rouschausse - town of Laval)
Tourist Office of the Country of Laval (Kévin Rouschausse - town of Laval)
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Kite school, boomerang and model making
Kite school, boomerang and model making
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals



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