Balanced on a rocky ridge above the Charente River, Angoulême is a stone-built city made all the more beautiful by its vertiginous slopes. The old walls that once barricaded the upper town were pulled down in the 1700s to form terrace paths and boulevards blessed with distant views of the Charente and the Anguinne Valleys.
And if you happen to be a comic book fan, the city will be right up your alley: In January you can come for the second-largest comic festival in Europe, where international masters of the art-form have given talks and accepted awards. And the rest of the time there’s a centre with a museum for comics and graphic novels, and outdoor murals all around Angoulême by some of France and Belgium’s best-loved artists.
Lets explore the best things to do in Angoulême:
1. Angoulême Cathedral
Sitting high on a terrace with wide open views across the Anguienne Valley the cathedral was begun at the start of the 12th century and the initial work was finished less than 20 years later.
At the entrance you’ll want to take a step back to behold the richness of the sculpture on this western facade.
There are more than 70 sculptures and reliefs vying for your attention, but if you look at the upper central portion, above the window you can make out an unusual image of the Ascension of Christ, with Jesus appearing in the midst of the clouds.