10 largest cities in France


Nogent le Rotrou


Nogent-le-Rotrou is a French commune located in the department of Eure-et-Loir in the Center-Val de Loire region. The town of Nogent-le-Rotrou is located in the natural region of Perche extending over part of the departments of Eure-et-Loir, Orne, Loir-et-Cher, Sarthe and 'Eure. It is located in the Huisne valley, a natural communication axis that links it to Le Mans. The town is located 127 km south-west-west of Paris as the crow flies. It is also located 52 km west of Chartres, prefecture of Eure-et-Loir. To the north-west, it is 93 km from Orleans, prefecture of the Center-Val de Loire region, and to the north-east, 58 km from Le Mans, prefecture of the neighboring department of Sarthe. The town of Nogent-le-Rotrou borders the department of Orne, and is about ten kilometers from that of Sarthe.



Chateau Saint-Jean
The Château Saint-Jean, which overlooks the roads from Chartres to Le Mans and from Châteaudun to Bellême from the plateau where it is installed, was built in several stages. The rectangular keep measuring 17 x 24 m, made of stone, is kept 35 meters high. It was built in the 1040s, making it one of the oldest dungeons of this type still standing in France; its thick walls (3.5 m at the base and 1.50 m at the top) and the rarity of its openings reflect its military vocation. The circular enclosure and the towers date from the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century; a dry ditch crossed by a drawbridge and the slope of the land to the west completed the defensive system. Between the 15th century and the 16th century, several buildings came to give the castle a more residential function, while the keep was abandoned. Without a garrison from the seventeenth century, the castle served as a prison during the Revolution, before being sold to individuals. Bought by the city in 1950 and partially restored between 2000 and 2004, the castle has housed the municipal museum since 1959. The 155 “Saint-Jean steps” link the castle to the Paty district, where several Renaissance mansions still exist.

In the city center, the courtyard of the former Hôtel-Dieu, founded in 1182, houses the tombs of Sully, whose Reformed confession prevented burial in the church, and of his wife Rachel de Cochefilet. Their sculpted tombs, surmounted by orants, are sheltered by a mausoleum covered with slate. A few dozen meters away is a statue of Paul Deschanel, while the Place Saint-Pol hosts a replica of the statue of the eponymous general, and is dominated to the east by the majestic town hall. In the courtyard of Arsène Meunier college, a statue of René Iché (1897-1954) represents the poet Rémy Belleau, born in 1528 in the city.