Visiting Angers is an invitation to explore its extraordinary heritage. As well as its castle and châteaux, it has many other fascinating buildings, a historic quarter, French gardens and museums.
THE UNMISSABLE ANGERS CASTLE
THE FORTRESS OF KING RENE
The Château d’Angers (Angers Castle) is located right in the heart of town and is therefore impossible to miss. Standing proudly on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Maine River, it has existed since the 13th century. Its imposing Medieval curtain walls and 17 defensive towers have made it a city landmark. Although a little menacing in appearance from the outside, once you pass the drawbridge, you enter a whole other world. Dark schist stone gives way to lush green gardens that contrast beautifully with the white tufa stone of the various inner buildings like the chapel, châtelet (gateway into the internal courtyard) and seigneurial residence.
The Château d’Angers also houses the Apocalypse Tapestry. This city treasure commissioned by Louis I of Anjou in about 1375 is today kept in darkness for its preservation. Measuring some 103 metres long and 4.5 metres high on average, it features 71 scenes and is the largest Medieval tapestry series in the world.
Want to see more of Medieval Angers?
As you stroll through the city centre and wander along the paved streets of the old town next to the castle, you will soon become aware of a strong Medieval influence. The half-timbered houses are exceptional, particularly the Maison d’Adam with its amusing figures. There is also the 13th century Toussaint Abbey whose tufa stone walls and vaulted ceilings today provide the venue for the Galerie David d’Angers.
DISCOVER THE GOTHIC STYLE OF ANGERS
In addition to the castle, Angers abounds with unique buildings whose architecture is deeply marked by the Angevine Gothic style, also known as the Plantagenêt style. Be it in the Cathédrale Saint-Maurice, Musée Jean Lurçat or Collégiale Saint-Martin, you will see the particularly rounded vaults that are characteristic of this style. In order not to miss out on any of these city landmarks, follow the site-seeing trail suggested by the Tourist Office.
A BEAUTIFUL HISTORY OF CHÂTEAUX
Nothing is more certain, Angers was a land of royalty! When roaming the region of Angers, you will see many other châteaux. If you include manor houses, Anjou has over a 1000 of them! All highly unique, they are certain to leave an impression on you. Some are privately owned and tell the stories of families of several generations old.
And then there are a few that just have to be seen, like the Château de Brissac, Europe’s tallest château with its seven storeys and 204 rooms (its nickname is the ‘Giant of the Loire Valley’), or the Château du Plessis-Macé, one of the Anjou region’s finest examples of Gothic-style architecture. No doubt, you will also want to see the Château du Plessis-Bourré. It is such a magical place that it has been used as a film location on several occasions, like in the French films Donkey Skin (Peau d’Ane) and Fan-Fan the Tulip. The impressive Château de Serrant with its collection of furniture and works of art is also a must-see.