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Cities of France - Angers

Angers

The historic city of Angers in western France is a stepping stone for the majestic Loire Valley.  

The nearby slate quarries brought Angers considerable prosperity and the abundant use of the dark material on the roofs of Angers led to the city's nickname, the "Black City" or "La ville noire". 

Angers boasts a formidable medieval castle where the Dukes of Anjou once ruled over the surrounding territory. The 13th century chateau is well preserved, but the rest of the valley is now bustling with boulevards, fine squares, museums and a wonderful array of cafes and restaurants. 

Today, Angers enjoys a youthful atmosphere and the city’s many university students add to the rich cultural life. 

The Château d'Angers, still dominates the old medieval centre.  Built between 1230 and 1240 by Louis IX of France, it has massive walls about a kilometre long and features seventeen towers. 

Inside the immense dark walls is the 100-yard-long Book Of Revelations tapestry, the biggest medieval tapestry ensemble in the world. The Apocalypse Tapestry, as it is known, depicts the end of the world and was commissioned by Louis commissioned as a piece of 14th century propaganda. 

A tranquil antidote to the apocalypse is a walk through the cobbled streets to the cathedral, worth a visit for the stained-glass windows alone.   Or you may want to visit the Cointreau factory to discover how the simple idea of turning two types of orange peel, sweet and bitter, into a colourless liqueur launched a global phenomenon.