Ranked among the finest of the Loire valleys towns and cities, Angers, formerly the capital of the historic province of Anjou, is today the capital of the Maine-et-Loire département. Its distinctive characteristic is its architecture which is influenced by slate and the predominance of blue and white stones.
Angers is a classic French city, with cobbled streets, medieval half-timbered houses, a cathedral and a dramatic castle. The city also offers the greenest city landscape in the whole of France, with over 1,500 acres of parks and green spaces.
Angers in the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley has always been popular with British and American visitors fascinated by its history and culture. The Area is known as the ‘Valley of the Kings’ as it was once home to the Plantagenet kings who ruled both France and England.
Angers lies at the heart of wine-making country with the Anjou and Saumur vineyards making some of France’s finest wines. The area boasts 32 AOC appellations and is the third largest wine-growing region in France.
The wealth of its heritage and the care taken with its promotion have enabled Angers to obtain the prestigious ‘Villes d’Art et d’Histoire’ label awarded by the Department of Architecture and Heritage.
This vibrant and cultured city on the River Maine was once the centre of the Plantagenet kingdom, a realm that embraced the whole of England and half of France. But the city can trace its roots to Roman times, when it was known as Juliomagus.
Take a short stroll from the Cité to the Doutre, where you can find a lively student atmosphere, or enjoy the quiet banks of the Maine.
This quarter on the right bank has a rural charm, characterised by its wood-framed houses, its private townhouses, its Angevin residences with their pale tufa façades, and its many green spaces.
Things to do in Angers
The Chateau d’Angers a beautiful French castle tells the story of King René, but the city is also noted for the impressive twin spites of the 12th-century Cathedral Saint-Maurice.
The Musée Jean-Lurçat et de la Tapisserie contemporaine, housed in the ancient hospital of St Jean (12th century), epitomises the revival of the art of tapestry.
The Museum of Technology, embraces the story of Cointreau, the orange-flavoured French liqueur ‘invented’ by Édouard Cointreau, who was born here in 1849.
Exploring beyond Angers
Use Angers as a base, and take time out to visit Le Mans. Likewise, you can discover the Basses Vallées Angevines area.
This is one of Europe’s richest and most beautiful natural wetlands. It has vast floodplains to the north and south, crossed by three rivers – the Mayenne, the Sarthe, and the Loir, which come together to form the Maine before pouring into the Loire.