Cháteau de Angers

Angers, France

The Cháteau d'Angers is a castle founded in the 9th century by the Counts of Anjou. It was expanded to its current size in the 13th century. Originally, the castle was built as a fortress at one of the sites inhabited by the Romans because of its strategic defensive location. In the 9th century, the Bishop of Angers gave the Counts of Anjou permission to build a castle in Angers. It became part of the Angevin empire of the Plantagenet Kings of England during the 12th century. In 1204, the region was conquered by Philip II and an enormous castle was built during the minority of his grandson, Louis IX in the early part of the 13th century. The construction undertaken in 1234 cost 4,422 livres, roughly one per cent of the estimated royal revenue at the time.

In 1352, King John II gave the castle to his second son, Louis who later became count of Anjou. Married to the daughter of the wealthy Duke of Brittany, Louis had the castle modified, and in 1373 commissioned the famous Apocalypse Tapestry from the painter Hennequin de Bruges and the Parisian tapestry-weaver Nicolas Bataille.Louis II and Yolande d'Aragon added a chapel (1405-12) and royal apartments to the complex. The chapel is a sainte chapelle, the name given to churches which enshrined a relic of the Passion. The relic at Angers was a splinter of the fragment of the True Cross which had been acquired by Louis IX. In the early 15th century, the hapless dauphin who, with the assistance of Joan of Arc would become King Charles VII, had to flee Paris and was given sanctuary at the Cháteau d' Angers.

In 1562, Catherine de' Medici had the castle restored as a powerful fortress, but her son, Henry III, reduced the height of the towers and had the towers and walls stripped of their embattlements; Henry III used the castle stones to build streets and develop the village of Angers. Nonetheless, under threat of attacks from the Huguenots, the king maintained the castle's defensive capabilities by making it a military outpost and by installing artillery on the cháteau's upper terraces. At the end of the 18th century, as a military garrison, it showed its worth when its thick walls withstood a massive bombardment by cannons from the Vendean army. Unable to do anything else, the invaders simply gave up.

A military academy was established in the castle to train young officers in the strategies of war. In a twist of fate, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, best known for taking part in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo, was trained at the Military Academy of Angers. Still a part of the French military, the chateau was severely damaged during World War II by the Nazis when an ammunition storage dump inside the castle exploded.

Today, owned by the City of Angers, the massive, austere castle has been converted to a museum housing the oldest and largest collection of medieval tapestries in the world, with the 14th century "Apocalypse Tapestry" as one of its priceless treasures. As a tribute to its fortitude, the castle has never been taken by any invading force in history.

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Details

Founded: 9th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Cristian Tuchilă (6 months ago)
A very well preserved medieval castle. An impressive construction with large walls and a beautiful interior. Inside you will find the beautiful Apocalypse Tapestry. The walk on the ramparts is also worth a visit, allowing you to see some impressive views on the city of Angers. Definitely worth the time spent there. The castle and a city visit can be done in a day trip from Paris, by train.
Beverley Bunch Travel Guide (6 months ago)
STUNNING CHATEAU IN AN AMAZING LITTLE CITY! We weren't planning on visiting Angers, but decided to take a slight detour on the way by! What a gorgeous little city, with Chateau d'Angers standing prominently in the centre. TIP: There is free parking a short walk away, just across the river in Parc de Balzac. Instagram - @the.beverley.bunch
Mohamed Osso (6 months ago)
Great place and got prestige and u can see a whole history of it and lovely garden
Hendrik Olivier (7 months ago)
Clean and nice to walk about. Spend few hours here highly recommended.
Mark Chadwick (8 months ago)
This is a very well maintained castle in the centre of Angers. The gardens, grounds and castle are very well looked after and well worth the visit. Also, there's a great market on in the city during the week.
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