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Angers France Angers

Angers France


Angers

Angers is the capital of Anjou, the ancient French region, and sits on the banks of the River Maine, a tributary of the Loire. The town is welcoming and remains pleasant in spite of the sobre slate roofs and WWII damage.

Angers was an important Roman town and then the seat of the counts of Anjou, a powerful group of 12th century nobles who controlled much of southern France. The jewel in Angers ' crown is the tapestry Apocalypse from the 14th century, housed in the Chateau d'Angers.

Map of Angers

The Chateau d'Angers is a magnificent example of medieval architecture. The fortress is made of Anjou schist, a dark grey stone, with paler tufa in places, making it appear like the epitome of invincibility that would no doubt have disheartened those trying to scale the seventeen 30m tall towers along the kilometre of curtain wall. Inside the fortress the main interest lies in the tapestry, 103 metres of cloth illustrating the Book of Revelation according to St John in 68 terrifying scenes. It was woven from 1372 to 1382 at the bequest of Louis I d'Anjou, and was probably used as decoration in the cathedral on important festival days.

The Cathédrale St Maurice, ten minutes' walk from the chateau, was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and has a version of the apocalypse carved in stone on the portal. The nave is a good example of Angevin vaulting, the three vaults forming a square shape. The apocalypse is depicted once again in the Rose Windows in the north and south transepts. The Calvary sculpture at the cathedral was created by David d'Angers (1788 1856) and there are many more of his brilliant sculptures on display at the Galerie David d'Angers, a ruined 13th century church at 37bis rue Toussaint (€2) that was beautifully regenerated by architect Pierre Prunet from 1980 to 1994.