Town of Art and History

Laval has stood here on the banks of the Mayenne, between Normandy and Anjou, for almost a thousand years.
A majestic castle standing high on a rocky outcrop, with its circular keep reflected in the river... it’s picture-perfect for a postcard.

  • Laval ville d'art et d'histoire

    Laval ville d'art et d'histoire

    © Photo : Jean-Charles Druais

  • Laval ville d'art et d'histoire

    Laval ville d'art et d'histoire - Bateau promenade Vallis Guidonis sur la rivière la Mayenne

    © Photo : Jean-Charles Druais

  • Laval ville d'art et d'histoire

    Laval ville d'art et d'histoire

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Laval ville d'art et d'histoire

    Laval ville d'art et d'histoire

    © Photo : Jean-Charles Druais

  • Laval ville d'art et d'histoire - Maisons à pans de bois

    Laval ville d'art et d'histoire - Maisons à pans de bois

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Laval ville d'art et d'histoire

    Laval ville d'art et d'histoire

    © Photo : Jean-Charles Druais

  • Laval ville d'art et d'histoire - animations d'été pour les enfants

    Laval ville d'art et d'histoire - animations d'été pour les enfants

    © Photo : O.T. du pays de Laval

  • Laval ville d'art et d'histoire - Musée du Lactopôle

    Laval ville d'art et d'histoire - Musée du Lactopôle

    © Photo : Jean-Charles Druais

Laval, a Town of Art and History
Laval has been designated a Town of Art and History by the Ministry for Culture. This prestigious national seal of approval promises visitors a whole range of tourist services and special activities here, all based around the town’s unique urban heritage. It also guarantees you'll receive a first-class welcome.

Laval’s Castle and Museum of Naive Art
Laval castle , is an imposing edifice whose origins go back to the 11th century. Today it houses the Laval Museum of Naive Art , the finest collection of naive art in Europe. This is a fitting posthumous tribute to one of Laval’s sons, the painter Douanier Rousseau.

Don’t miss ...
The castle and its keep can be seen as you stroll the along the quays beside the Mayenne, or follow the narrow medieval streets that lead to the 13th- and 15th-century fortifications.
Also well worth a visit are the imposing Porte Beucheresse, which was the gate out of town towards Brittany, and the Maison du Grand Veneur (Head Huntsman’s House) at the top of the Grande Rue.
At the Museum of Milk  the guided tour will take you right to the heart of the French tradition of milk production. This is the world’s largest milk and cheese museum, and its ultra modern, 5,000 square metre exhibition area will give you a full picture of all the different business activities related to milk.

Laval, a lively town
Throughout the year the Laval Area Tourist Office  has lots of unusual ideas for activities. You can take a guided tour around the town by boat, on foot, or in the little tourist train, by day or by night, when there are dramatized tours by torchlight.
And let’s not forget the kids; they can join in “heritage kids” tours, where they’ll have a chance to play the part of explorers.

Laval, a country town
In Laval, you’re never too far from nature.
How about stopping off amidst the flowers and greenery of the Jardin de La Perrine (La Perrine Gardens), where you’ll have a beautiful view of the river and the castle. Here you can visit the Alain Gerbault Centre, a tribute to the Laval-born navigator.
Right in the centre of town you can board Laval’s cruise-boat, the 'Vallis Guidonis', which offers a range of cruises through the heart of the town and the Mayenne valley.

Laval and virtual reality
The town of Laval has developed a technology centre that is at the very forefront of research into virtual reality.
Every year the ‘Laval Virtual’ exhibition attracts specialist companies from all over the world. And on the days when it's open to the public, crowds of visitors come to see the latest virtual reality innovations. When you visit Laval’s castle, you’ll see an impressive application of this research: a virtual reconstruction of Laval in 1750, developed by the Nautilus company.

More info

  • Laval Area Tourist Office
  • 84 Ave Robert Buron
  • 53000 Laval
  •  +33 (0)2 43 49 46 46
  • E-mail
  • Website

Logo Pays d'art et d'histoire