Location: Sarthe, France
Sarthe is one of the first 83 departments created in the French Revolution in 1790. In Roman times, this province contained the city of Mans, and many of its ruins are still standing. The Roman Thermal Bathhouse attracts many tourists, as does the Theater of Aubigné-Racan, both located on the outskirts of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine.
The department of Sarthe is at the north end of the administrative region of Pays-de-la-Loire. It is south of Normandy and on the southern edge of the Armorican Massif. It is bordered by the departments of Orne, Eure-et-Loir, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire and Mayenne.
Approximately 300,000 people, comprising more than half of the department's population, live in Le Mans, its conurbation, or the essentially urban communes close by. The rest of the department retains a rural character, with agriculture as the chief part of the economy.