Close to where the Maine River enters the Loire, Angers is an impossibly beautiful city awash with renaissance architecture.
This opulence was the perk of being the capital of Anjou, a historical province ruled by dukes and counts who wielded serious power in medieval times.
The might of these dynasties will be evident when you see Angers Castle, the seat of the counts and a formidable stronghold from the 1300s that looks like it could withstand anything thrown its way.
You’ll fall in love with the splendid art that the rich nobility commissioned, and can delve into renaissance houses, twee old neighbourhoods and the majestic but less frequented châteaux of the lower Loire Valley.
Lets explore the best things to do in Angers:
1. Angers Castle
The ultimate symbol of the might of the medieval Counts of Anjou, Angers Castle as we see it was built in 1231. The outer wall rules over the southern part of the city centre, with a curtain that goes on for 660 metres and is strengthened with 17 bulk towers, each 18 metres in height.
It’s a truly impressive show of force that belies the daintiness of the residence within the courtyard.
The Grand Salle is from the 9th century, when the castle was first built, and there are chapels, lodgings and parterre gardens to discover.
You could also “man the battlements” for views of the city or take stroll in the sweet formal gardens at the base of the walls in the castle’s former ditches.