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When Saint Louis built the imposing fortress around the Château of Angers, he would never have imagined that, centuries later, it would be home to an internationally famous treasure: the Tapestry of the Apocalypse, which is conserved and exhibited in the château. It is the world’s largest medieval tapestry and was commissioned by Louis I of Anjou in the 14th century. Thousands of visitors come to admire it every year, and they are always surprised by the military architecture of the château as well as the various gardens preserving the memory of Good King René.
The impressive fortress surrounding the Château of Angers is a magnificent 13th-century military structure. Over its threshold, visitors will discover a pleasant palace housing a true gem and the largest medieval tapestry in the world: the Tapestry of the Apocalypse.

The Château of Angers sits proudly on a spot that has been a site of human settlement since the dawn of time, as testified to by recent archaeological searches that revealed a burial site dating from the Neolithic period. The excavations also unearthed evidence of major Roman settlement from the 1st century and an episcopal palace from between the 7th and 9th centuries. Later on, a palace was built here by the Counts of Anjou which was besieged by the Plantagenets until Philip Augustus’ victory over the English. In 1230, the regent Blanche of Castile and her son, Saint Louis, began building a fortress with the aim of discouraging attacks from England and Brittany. A large outer wall was built using schist and limestone that measured 40 metres in height and included 17 towers of 12 metres in diameter, giving the château its imposing appearance.

This impressive building was the home of the Dukes of Anjou in the 14th and 15th centuries, beginning with Louis I of Anjou who modernised the counts’ palace by adding large windows with mullions. At the same time, he commissioned a work that is today the world’s largest medieval tapestry: the Tapestry of the Apocalypse. Later on, the chapel was built here by Louis II, and the royal suite and the “châtelet” gateway by the whimsical Good King René. Ever faithful to his somewhat eccentric character, the latter also built a menagerie in the gardens to house native and exotic animals.

When Good King René died, Louis XI annexed the duchy of Anjou to the royal kingdom, including the fortress which at the time was used as a prison with the creation of the famous “fillette” iron cages attributed to Louis XI. The fortress’s defensive functions were strengthened to adapt to developments in artillery techniques. During the French War of Religions, Louis XIV used the Château of Angers as a small prison and it was here that Fouquet, the Super-intendant of Finances, was held after his arrest by the famous musketeer D’Artagnan. The château served as a local prison until 1856 when ordinary criminals and the mentally sick were locked up here. The fortress then became a barracks until the mid-20th century, when it was made a National Monument. Today, the Château of Angers is famous for the Tapestry of the Apocalypse, a unique masterpiece whose size and age make it the only one of its kind in the world. But this exceptional monument is impressive throughout. From the drawbridge to the magnificent gardens, visitors will be struck by the atmosphere in this history-laden château. 
Not to be missed

The Tapestry of the Apocalypse

The Château of Angers jealously guards the world’s oldest and longest medieval tapestry: the Tapestry of the Apocalypse. This historical masterpiece has defied the passage of time and is composed of a series of tapestries measuring 104 metres in length and relating the story of the Apocalypse from the book of Revelation by Saint John.
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Hidden treasure

The strongest fortress in the kingdom

The fortress built by Saint Louis in the 13th century was the strongest in the kingdom at the time.
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Unusual

The hanging garden

Good King René left Angers with the legacy of his love of gardens and passion for botany.
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News from the château
Practical information

DOMAINE NATIONAL DU CHATEAU D'ANGERS

2 promenade du Bout du Monde
49100, ANGERS
France
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"Accueil Vélo"La Loire à VéloVignobles et Découvertes
Things to see in the area
How to get there
The Château of Angers is 10 minutes on foot from the train station, which is 1 hour 30 minutes by train from Paris-Montparnasse station.
The Angers-Loire airport has flight connections to Nice, Toulouse and London.
The A11, A85 and A87 motorways all lead to Angers, which is 2 hours 30 minutes by car from Paris and 3 hours 40 minutes from Bordeaux.

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