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Laval [la. Its inhabitants are called Lavallois. The commune of Laval proper, without the metropolitan area, is the 7th most populous in the Pays de la Loire region and the nd in France. A part of the traditional province of Maine before the French Revolutionwhich now split between two departments, Mayenne and SartheLaval also lies on the threshold of Brittany and is not far from Normandy and Anjou.

It was thus an important stronghold in northwestern France during the Middle Ages. Laval became a city during the 11th century, and was the cradle laval dating over 40 the House of Lavallaval dating over 40 of the most powerful families in Maine and Brittany. The counts of Laval developed a textile industry around and made Laval a significant centre for the French Renaissance a century later. The linen industry remained the principal activity in Laval until the 20th century, when milk processing became more profitable.

Laval developed around a promontory, on which the castle was built, and along the river Mayenne. The Laval metropolitan area is a small economic centre in western France, particularly active in the industrial sector, dairy production, electronics and chemicals.

Laval is laval dating over 40 oriented towards Rennesthe administrative capital of the laval dating over 40 of Brittanyand located only 80 kilometres 50 miles west of Laval. Laval proper covers Laval also enjoys a significant architectural heritage, with its castle, portions of city walls, medieval houses, old bridges and churches. Laval is a relatively new foundation in comparison to other French cities. That is to say that the borough was not officially mentioned prior to the 11th century.

According to legend glorifying the Counts of Laval, mediaeval chroniclers portrayed the citizens of Laval as being the offspring of Charles Martel laval dating over 40 grandson Wala of Corbie. By virtue of the chroniclers' accounts, Laval should be a synonym for "Vala" or "Valla"—the two spelling variants of "Wala".

The first mention of the town was the Latin Vallis Guidonismeaning "Guy's valley", because the counts of Laval were all called Guy. Other Latin names include Valles and Castrum de Valibus. Lavallum Guidonis is first written in After the RenaissanceLavallis and Lavallium are both commonly used by the clergy and the scholars.

Laval is located at the geographical centre of the Mayenne department, on the road which connects Paris to Brittanybetween Rennes and Le Mans. The town is situated on the middle course of the Laval dating over 40a river which has its source in Normandy and runs towards the Loire crossing the Mayenne department from North to South. Laval is located approximately 70 kilometres 43 miles laval dating over 40 Rennes75 kilometres 47 miles from Le Mans and Angerskm 81 miles from Nanteskm 84 miles from Tourskm 93 miles from Caen and km miles from Paris.

It is also km 62 miles far from Le Mont-Saint-Michel and the surrounding sea resorts, located on the English Channel. Elevation varies between 42 and meters above sea level.

The castle was built on laval dating over 40 promontory and the medieval centre spreads around. The promontory and the slightly hilly landscape around Laval are traces of the Armorican Massifan old range of mountains that forms the Breton peninsula. The town is surrounded by agricultural land essentially made of large fields. The traditional bocage with its old hedgerows is still partially visible.

The commune of Laval is bordered laval dating over 40 seven other communes. They unite c. Laval enjoys a very mild climate because of its proximity with the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channelgiving it an oceanic climate.

Winters are usually wet, with scarce frosts and snowfalls, and summers are warm and sunny, although rainfalls are common.

The oldest streets and buildings in Laval are located around the promontory where the castle stands. The urban structure there dates back from the Middle Ages and is limited to the western bank of the Mayenne river.

This old core is today the main shopping area, with several pedestrian streets and little shops. Several medieval half-timbered laval dating over 40 are still visible, but most of the buildings are dating from the 18th and 19th centuries and are made of tufa. Founded init still comprises several old houses and a medieval basilica.

The eastern bank of the Mayenne was also settled in the Middle Ages, along the street that leads to the bridge crossing the river, but it was mostly developed during the second half of the 19th century when the train station was built there. The old laval dating over 40 surrounding the town centre date from laval dating over 40 same period and are mainly composed of individual houses.

The 20th-century suburbs comprise some council estates but individual houses are much more common. Some shopping centres and several industrial areas are laval dating over 40 on the outskirts of the town. Laval is encircled by a small ring road and the Paris - Rennes highway bypasses the town by the North.

Until the 20th century, Laval had had a port on the Mayenne river, which was surrounded by several factories, mainly linen manufactures. The old industrial areas were redeveloped after and the river has since become a recreational area. Laval is a small town and nature is not far away from the centre. The town manages 25 hectares of parks and gardens, and hectares of green areas in total. The largest park is the Jardin de la Perrinelocated in the centre, at the top of a rocky promontory.

Formerly a private garden, it encircles an 18th-century mansion and comprises a French and an English garden as well as a rose garden, an orangery and a small menagerie.

Apart from the Jardin de la Perrine, the main green areas in the centre are the Square de Bostonrefurbished inand the Square Fochlocated on the place du Novembrewhich is the central point of the town. The commune of Laval owns the Bois Gamatsa 25 hectares wood located on the southern hedge of the town. The coat of arms of Laval is: gules, a lion passant guardant. The coat of arms were those of the House of Lavaland not to the city.

Still, several members laval dating over 40 the family permitted the town to use their arms, notably inwhen the direct branch died, and in The House of Laval laval dating over 40 a motto, Eadem mensura "of same measure"which is sometimes associated with the town of Laval.

Inthe municipality adopted a logotype, replaced in by a new one which uses the heraldic lion as well as the palindrome as the two symbols of Laval. This logotype is made of "Laval" written in capital letters, with the final "L" held by the lion and reversed to suggest the palindrome. Before the construction of the castle during the 11th century, Laval did not exist.

However, the site of the town was already a thoroughfare because it was located on the Roman road that connected Le Mans to Corseula provincial capital in present-day Brittany. For instance, a Gallic stele has been unearthed in the suburb of Pritz, north of the centre.

The site of Laval had a strategic importance because the travelers taking the Roman road had to cross there the Mayenne river on a ford. The western bank of the river was further dominated by a rocky promontory which could ensure laval dating over 40 total control on the ford. During the 10th century, a first military structure was built on it, and a villa was mentioned there at the end of the century in a charter issued by the count of Maine.

Guy I of Laval built a new castle and the town slowly appeared laval dating over 40 the Roman road and on the river banks. The castle built by Guy I was much wider than the present-day structure. It was encircled by an earthen wall and it spread from the present-day keep laval dating over 40 the cathedral. A motte built over the wall commanded the access to the top of the promontory, where the Lords lived, and the second laval dating over 40 was probably located inside the compound.

Aroundthe earthen wall was pulled down and the castle became smaller, taking its present-day appearance. The town developed on its side its own defense system. Beatrix of Gaverethe wife of Guy IX de Lavalwho lived in the 13th century, is believed to be at the origin of the textile tradition of the town.

Born in Flandersshe would have brought Flemish weavers with her, and would have encouraged linen production. Linen weaving remained the main economic activity of the town until the 19th century. It became French again a year later. The fighting laval dating over 40 great damages and the town was fully rebuilt afterwards. Thus all the half-timbered houses that still stand in the medieval centre were not built before laval dating over 40 15th century.

New rooms and halls were built, and new Gothic windows were opened laval dating over 40 the courtyard laval dating over 40 the beginning of the 16th laval dating over 40. The gallery was later slightly redecorated in The House of Laval played a certain role in the development of the Renaissance arts in the region. During the 17th century, Laval became very prosperous and the Counter-Reformation led to the foundation of many religious institutions.

Large convents were opened, including UrsulinesBenedictines and Capuchins. All these convents were later sold and demolished during the French Revolution. During the 18th century, the town, which had kept its medieval appearance, started to expand. In the middle of the 18th century, Laval had around 18, inhabitants and 3, households.

It was the second most populous town in Maineafter Le Mans. Because it was located close to the Breton border, Laval had a large salt storehouse, which controlled the collect of the gabellea tax on salt. Because Brittany was a large salt producer, it was exempted from gabelle, but people living in Maineor other hinterland provinces, had to buy a certain amount of salt every year, thus paying the gabelle was compulsory for them. A salt storehouse such as the one in Laval was therefore a tax office and it had to deal with salt contraband.

At that time Laval was made up of three parishes. The textile industry in Laval reached its zenith just before the French Revolution. The town had the right to produce eight sorts of cloth, including the royales and demi-Hollandewhich were among the finest linen weaved in France. The royales and demi-Hollande were the best linen of Laval, as well as the most expensive. A demi-Hollande could cost up to poundsand a toile fortethe cheapest one, had a worth of 50 pounds.

The other sorts of linen made in Laval were also cheap and of a low laval dating over 40, but they represented the largest share of the total production. The linen of Laval were sold mainly in France, but also abroad. The rustic non-battues were only made for the Spanish market, some of the best linen were sold in Portugal and the stronger clothes were exported to the French colonies in America. The royales and the demi-Hollande were usually sold in TroyesSenlis and Beauvais laval dating over 40, three towns located around Paris, which were renowned for their markets.

Laval also produced a specific kind of linen, the pontivyfor the French army. In laval dating over 40 18th century, the laval dating over 40 medieval centre was still encircled by city walls, and its narrow plots and streets forbade any large urban transformation.

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