ANGERS, FRANCE
«June 2014»

Photos © Ruud Leeuw


 
In june 2014 we took ourselves on the trail of the Plantagenets. In my search for a good base to make the trips from, I stumbled on Angers. This worked out well, in fact beyond our expectations. Angers had sights we wanted to visit, but we found it also a lovely place to stay, roaming the small streets and ending up with nice little restaurants and very nice pubs.
In spite of all the history, we came away with an impression of 'young & vibrant' and hope to return some day.

Angers castle
Angers is the historical capital of Anjou and was for centuries an important stronghold in
northwestern France. Angers is the cradle of the Plantagenet dynasty and was during the reign of
René of Anjou one of the intellectual centres of Europe.

Angers castle

During the 12th century, after internal divisions in Brittany, the county of Nantes was annexed by Anjou.
Henry II Plantagenêt kept it for more than 30 years. At the same time, he also ruled the vast Angevin Empire, which stretched from the Pyrenees to Ireland.
The castle of Angers was then the seat of the Court and the dynasty.
The Empire disappeared in 1204-1205 when the King of France, Philip II, seized Normandy and Anjou. Henceforth there were no more counts of Anjou, as the French king had made Anjou a dukedom.
WIKIPEDIA

 

Angers castle

Angers castle

Angers castle
King René of Anjou contributed to the economic revival in a city that had been diminished by the Black Death (1347–1350) and the Hundred Years War (1337–1453). A man of great culture and generosity, René transformed
Angers into a cultural and political centre and held there a brilliant Court. He transformed the castle moat into a
menagerie and built several gardens. He also founded in Angers a new Ordre du Croissant which was supposed
to compete with the Order of the Golden Fleece, created several years earlier.
Lovely that, the Ordre du Croissant!

Angers castle

Angers castle
'The Confessions of the Rocks' by Pascal di Péri; fascinating art here on display.
The exhibit was on display in what once was the jail of the castle. Up to 60 prisoners
crowded this jail sometimes. Sixty hands are projected here in a display of despair.

Angers castle

Angers castle

Angers castle

Angers castle
Considering my visit to this castle, I found these elevated gardens the most rewarding of my visit. To find
high on the castle walls a vineyard and a garden with herbs and spices was something one rarely encounters.

Angers castle
In this church hall there was supposed to be a tapestry I think, but it wasn't there; it wasn't anywhere in the castle. There was very little information to be found anyway and I don't like to walk around as a slave with an audio thingie stuck to my ear.  So I thought this castle quite bare of information and lifeless; I consider the intricate garden work, both outside the castle walls as well as inside (and on!) the castle walls, as its best feature.


 

 

Angers
Under Napoleon I's rule, Angers was one of the 'Bonnes villes', and its historic centre is still deserving of that label.

Angers

 

 

 

Angers castle
Jardin du Musée des Beaux-arts. Walking from the castle without much of
a plan we stumbled on this location. Surprises such as this are always nice.

Angers castle
Art where perhaps one wouldn't expect it.


 

 

Angers
Place Sainte-Croix. Besides nice architecture we also found a very nice pub here.
It was located diagonally across this square, look for the Guinness sign!

Angers
Close up at Maison d'Adam.


 

 

Angers
Unfortunately we found the front of the cathedral in renovations.

Angers
Indeed an awe inspiring door!

Angers
Detail of the Angers Cathedral high up.

Angers

Angers Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Maurice d'Angers) was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries on the orders of bishops Normand de Doué and Guillaume de Beaumont after the original building burnt down in 1032. The original Romanesque church was rebuilt with Gothic details in the mid 12th century.
The high altar is Baroque (1758), designed by Henri Gervais; six monolithic columns support the canopy. 
Source: www.spottinghistory.com/view/1111/angers-cathedral/



 

 

Angers - Jardin des Plantes

Angers
Notre-Dame des Victoires

Angers

Angers

 

 

Angers
Memories: while travelling in China there wasn't a menu without a spelling mistake. Must be a tradition of sorts.

 

 

Angers
In Angers we stayed at Séjours & Affaires Apparthotel; as in Caen (in 2013) we liked the accommodation and facilities
(we could have done with airconditioning, though) but while in Caen the hotel was too far away from restaurants
and shops, in Angers we only had to walk ten minutes to reach the entertainment. Angers has universities which
cater to foreign students and we found plenty of international food and pubs to choose from. A lovely city.

Angers, France