Although I am not aware of any direct connection between Aristide Briand and the town of Maintenon, I am glad to see that they have named their central square after him. This is the square that is directly in front of the château and the town hall.
Aristide Briand (1862-1932) was a French socialist politician who served in the 1920s as Foreign Minister and as Prime Minister in a series of rapidly changing governments. He attempted to bring about reconciliation between France and Germany after the First World War, and for this he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926 along with the German foreign minister Gustav Stresemann (1878-1929).
The town hall (Hôtel de Ville) of Maintenon is located at 7 place Aristide Briand.
Unfortunately Place Astrid Briand is now used primarily as a parking lot for cars, so the atmosphere is sterile and unpleasant.
When you come out of the château, the obvious place to stop for a meal or a snack is the Relais du Château, a traditional-looking French pub and restaurant. Outdoor seating is available, but as it was a hot afternoon I chose to sit inside, out of the heat and away from the parked cars that dominate the Place Aristide Briand.
I discovered later that the Relais du Château receives predominantly negative reviews on French websites, but since am not a gourmet diner I was quite satisfied with the food and the service. I had a Salade Niçoise, which consists of tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies. In my experience this is a safe thing to order in the middle of the afternoon when you think the chef might be taking a break and leaving the kitchen in the hands of an unskilled assistant cook.
My photos in this post are from 2014. I revised the text in 2017.
See more posts on Maintenon, France.