What originally was Plantagenet King Henry II’s fort overlooking the river Maine was transformed over 800 years ago by King Louis I into the impressive castle that can be seen today. Don’t miss the famous Apocalypse Tapestry on the walls— measuring 100 yards in length!— portraying the end of the world as described in the Book of Revelation; a piece of propaganda art commissioned by Louis, King Henry features in the tapestry as a seven-headed monster.
Château d’Angers, 2 Promenade du Bout du Monde, Angers, France, +33 2 41 86 48 77
Just a 30-minute bus ride and 15 miles is the town of Savennières, the home of Domaine du Closel-Château des Vaults winery, which has been producing wine since the 1400s. Wander the verdant vineyards, and taste some of the stellar organic vin that this family-run winery turns out. What’s a trip to the Loire Valley without a winery tour?
In the north of the city is an immense botanical garden/amusement park featuring plants from all over the world in habitats ranging from a woodland of living prehistoric trees to an imitation Louisiana bayou. If you have time, hop on a guided boat for the full experience at Terra Botanica.
Terra Botanica, Route d’Epinard, Angers, France, +33 2 41 25 00 00
Join a guided tour of the production site and the distillery of this world-renowned liqueur, and cap it off with a sophisticated tasting in the elegant on-site bar. The barman is highly knowledgeable, and visitors will come away enamored with the citrus-flavored triple sec.
Offering up views of portraits and statues, as well as local artifacts explicating the history of Angers, this exemplary museum is worth a visit. Have a coffee or a bite to eat afterwards at the museum café, which has outdoor seating for sunny days.
Musée des Beaux-Arts, 14 Rue du Musée, Angers, France, +33 2 41 05 38 00
The seat of the Roman Catholic diocese in Angers, this stunning church’s architecture is equal parts Romanesque and Gothic. The exquisitedly-rendered stained glass windows were created in 1451 by glassmaker André Robin and remain a highlight of the cathedral’s decor.
Cathédrale St-Maurice, 4 Rue Saint-Christophe, Angers, France, +33 2 41 87 58 45
Artist Jean Lurçat (1892-1966) was notable for his single-handed revival of tapestry-making and textile art in France. Get up close with the artist’s tapestries— especially his famous series, Le Chant Du Monde— and enjoy the ambiance: the two buildings of the museum are surrounded by rhododendrons, and the view across the river is phenomenal.
Whilst the interior of the château is worth a peek (particularly the theater, the old kitchens, and the wine cellars), the real draw are the gardens, which contain walking paths, a 500-year-old vineyard, and an abundance of well-kept greenery.
Château de Brissac, Rue Louis Moron, Brissac-Quincé, France, +33 2 41 91 22 21
This light-filled, beautiful building— a converted abbey— houses a gallery containing the work of the sculptor Pierre-Jean David, or David d’Angers (1788-1856), who was once lauded as the ‘Michelangelo of Paris’ by writer Victor Hugo. This hidden gem is definitely a don’t-miss spot in Angers.
Galerie David d’Angers, 31 Bis Rue Toussaint, Angers, France, +33 2 41 05 38 90
Explore the history museum within this remarkable Gothic church to learn about its past as a collegiate church during medieval times, and don’t forget to head downstairs to the archaeological crypt. Check out their schedule for information on upcoming instrumental concerts, museum exhibitions, and more.
Collégiale Saint-Martin, 23 Rue Saint-Martin, Angers, France, +33 2 41 81 16 00