Mende (mäNd) [key], city (1990 pop. 12,667), capital of Lozère dept., S France, on the Lot River. Mende is a tourist resort. It was originally a small Gallo-Roman city that became an episcopal see in the 5th cent. Bishops ruled the town until 1306, when they were forced to cede a portion of it to Philip IV. During the Wars of Religion (1562–98) the city was often sacked. Points of interest include a 14th-century bridge over the Lot River, a 14th-century Gothic cathedral, and an 18th-century town hall.