The Château d’Angers, 28 km from the Château des Briottières, is also known as the château of the Dukes of Anjou and is located in the Maine et Loire department of France. At the heart of the city of Angers, a city of art and history, the Chateau d’Angers is a large fortress built between the 13th and 16th centuries. It overlooks the Maine River and has no less than 17 towers.
It was built by order of Blanche de Castile, the mother of Louis IX, from 1232. In 1214, the year of birth of Louis IX, better known as Saint Louis, Anjou became attached to the crown of France. After decades of struggle, the Plantagenets were forced to yield.
However, it wasn’t until the early 13th century that Blanche de Castile decided to transform Angers into one of the kingdom’s strategic strongholds; she financed the reconstruction of the Château d’Angers and built the walls of the city. The construction of the cathedral was also completed and new monastic establishments structured the planning of the city.
Inside the fortress lies the pleasant residence of the Dukes of Anjou, composed of buildings from the Gothic period (the castellum, the royal lodgings and the chapel), gardens and even some vines. The castellum and several royal lodgings were built in the 1450s by King René. King René died in 1480 and Louis XI once again added Anjou to the royal domain.
In the the 16th century the château became a prison and in 1661, Louis XIV had the superintendent of finances, Nicolas Fouquet incarcerated there. The fortress was used as a prison until 1947.
The Château d’Angers houses the world-famous collection of Tapestries of the Apocalypse. At 104 metres in length, they are the largest medieval tapestries in existence today. It was woven for Louis I, the Duke of Anjou, at the end of the 14th century. Today it is displayed in a gallery that has been specially adapted for its conservation.
The Apocalypse Tapestry illustrates the text written by Saint John in the 1st century, which forms the last book of the Bible. It is also a reflection of the context of its creation in the 14th century, a time of famine, plague and the Hundred Years’ War…
Opening times of the Château d’Angers
Open: Every day
2 May to 4 September, 9.30 am to 6.30 pm
5 September to 30 April, 10 am to 5.30 pm
Last admission 45 minutes before closing
Length of tour: 90 minutes
Château d'Angers, Promenade du Bout du Monde, Angers, France