Discover … Angers
Although today it may be overshadowed by the likes of Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille or Lyon, the historical city of Angers, located just north of the Loire river, was once the dynastic seat of England’s Plantagenet kings, and one of the intellectual centres of Europe. This rich heritage is still visible within the city today: in the town centre you will find the medieval Cité, complete with celestial cathedral, formal gardens and streets lined with timber framed houses, all perched on a rocky promontory.
However, the most impressive feature of this area is most surely the château. Although it was built 8 centuries ago, this castle still cuts an imposing figure on the landscape, with its high walls, towers and deep moat. Apart from all this, it is also home to La Tenture de l’Apocalypse, the largest known collection of medieval tapestries in the world. In its original form, this piece of art measured 140 metres in length and 6 metres in height, and, on gazing at its depictions of violent deaths, gods, devils, angels and monsters, it is possible to experience a taste of the religious fervour and the fear of the unknown that pervaded the lives of the people of the 14th century.
What to see and do in the area
- Terra Botanica: Step into this botanical garden-cum-amusement park and experience the scents and colours of plants from all over the world. You can choose to explore the verdure by water, as you are guided through the foliage in your own unmanned boat, or by air, as you soar above the garden in the world’s biggest hot air balloon! If this is not enough for you, you can also visit the park’s 4D cinema, or take a trip through the treetops in a pedalo boat turned rollercoaster car
- Musée des Beaux Arts: Take a trip through the ages in this gothic style medieval mansion turned museum, which contains art dating from the 14th to the 20th century. Once you have had your fill of paintings, you can enjoy a bite to eat in the cafe, or a stroll around the gardens.
- Cathédrale St-Maurice: With its immense stone spires and beautiful stained glass windows, La Cathédrale St-Maurice simply adds to the fairytale feel of the old town of Angers. It is also the burial place of Margaret of Anjou, the belligerent wife of Henry VI of England, yet another aspect of Angers that will make you feel, on entering the town, like you have stepped back into the Middle Ages.