Château d’Angers: A fortress and sumptuous residence
A brief history of the Chateau:
The Château d’Angers is a castle located in the city of Angers in the Loire Valley, Maine-et-Loire department, France and while it is not as popular as some of the other Loire Valley châteaux it is spectacular and is also home to the amazing Apocalypse Tapestry. The Château, which occupies a rocky promontory overlooking the River Maine, has been occupied by man since the Neolithic period. The site was first occupied by the Count of Anjou in the 9th century and then 300 years later a palace was built there. In the 13th Century, the Regent Blanche of Castile built a fortress to mass royal troops.
The Dukes of Anjou Louis I, Louis II and King Rene conducted a sumptuous court life within the shelter of the fortress in the 14th and 15th centuries. During the Wars of Religion in the 16th century, a representative of King Henry III adapted the fortress for advances in artillery. It then housed the Army and also acted as a prison. The Château was self sufficient with animals within the walls, fruit trees in the gardens, herbs and vegetables in the hanging gardens and even beehives and a small vineyard.
If you have a bit of extra time take a seat in the hanging garden and enjoy the peacefulness of being so elevated and surrounded by the aromatic plants. It is indeed very peaceful.
The Apocalypse Tapestry:
I recommend viewing the Apocalypse Tapestry which is housed in a purpose built L shaped building called “The Apocalypse Gallery” , erected on the site of former buildings and redeveloped only in 1996. The Apocalypse tapestry is the oldest surviving set of tapestries of this size (100m) in the world. This highly prestigious work was commissioned in 1375 by Louis 1, Duke of Anjou and brother of King Charles V. It is made entirely of wool and originally comprised six tapestries measuring 6m high and 23m long. The tapestry is an illustration of the Apocalypse according to St John or the Book of Revelation, the last book in the bible. This work of art has had a tumultuous history and was only restored and returned in 1954 to the castle. No photos are allowed of this precious and delicate piece of history so I cannot share my own photos of this amazing art work. To see photos check out these great web pages below:
This is the first chateau I have visited in the Loire Valley and it was an unplanned visit, tacked onto the end of my husband’s business meeting. The last minute decision to drive the extra 45mins to Angers to tour this castle was well worthwhile.
A comparison of the Apocalypse Tapestry and Bayeux Tapestry is inevitable when you have seen these two famous works of history. My favourite between the two however is the Bayeux Tapestry. The skill of the embroiders on both is inspiring. Have you seen either of these tapestries? Do you have a favourite?
Street address: 2 Promenade du Bout du Monde, 49100 Angers, France
Recommended time to allow for tour: 90mins – 120mins
Tour options: Self guided tours, guided tours and themed tours
Tickets: Adults 9€ Discount 7€ Children Free
Latitude : 47.4700
Longitude : -0.5600
For other National Monuments of France click here to help with your trip planning.
Keep travelling and until next time.. Annette Xx
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