Laval (Mayenne)


January 24, 2022

Laval (fr. Laval) is a city and commune in western France, a prefecture of the department of Mayenne. The city is the 121st most populous city in the country with 49,573 inhabitants.


The city is located on the banks of the river Mayenne, at the junction of the historical regions of Brittany, Normandy and Anjou. The area is about 54 km². Laval is located in a coal sedimentary basin dating from the Carboniferous and which extends longitudinally from Sable-sur-Sarthe to Saint-Pierre-la-Cour. Its breadth is between Montignet-le-Briand and Louvernay. This basin is located in the eastern part of the Armorican massif and is partly covered by Mesozoic formations in the Paris Basin. Like the Chatolino Basin at Finistère, it forms a zone of weakness within the Armorican massif, it is compressed between the rigid blocks of Munsellien to the north and Rennes to the south. The bowels of Laval are composed of shales and carboniferous limestones, forming folded layers. These layers are often vertical, forming plateaus and rocky outcrops, especially on the right bank of the Mayenne. This coast presents three different rock formations, from the north, slate plateaus and the poor soil of the Cross of Gaul and Ormo; at the level of the city center, a strip of limestone interspersed with shale, which gradually subsides as one approaches Mayenne, and to the south, the Rousselier and Carcas hills, composed of sandstone and slate. The left bank is more gentle, and its bowels mainly consist of shales, in places with interlayers of limestone and sandstone. This part of the city is also covered with Tertiary and Quaternary deposits of sand, clay and gravel. Laval's highest point is on the right bank, more specifically around Atlantic Avenue, southwest of downtown. It reaches 122 meters above sea level, and the lowest point of the city (45 meters) corresponds to the Mayenne around Cumont, i.e. on the southern border of the municipality. The entire municipality of Laval lies at an average altitude of 80 meters above sea level.


It arose in the 11th century on the site of the family castle of the Counts Laval. Folk tradition traces the name to the grandson of Charles Martel, abbot Vale Corvey. According to another version, the name of the city and the castle goes back to la vallée - "valley" (cf. English the valley). The valley of the river Mayenne, in which he

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