Angers counts among the greatest cities in the greater Loire Valley, designated a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire for its exceptional heritage. Its lively centre either side of the Maine River and its many festivals make it a brilliant destination for a short break.
Stretching either side of the Maine River, historic Angers is packed with fantastic monuments and timber-frame houses, be it on the cathedral side or on the other side, La Doutre.
Angers’s castle fortress close to the cathedral is the pride and joy of the some 270,000 inhabitants of the wider urban area. The castle is home to the unique Apocalypse Tapestries, a huge, impressive 14th-century cycle. Other gems in historic Angers include the Collegiate Church of Saint Martin, crammed with sculptures, Angers Fine Arts Museum, the Galerie David d’Angers, set in a converted church and dedicated to a fine 19th-century local sculptor, and the Musée Jean-Lurçat, featuring stunning 20th-century tapestries in the splendid, vaulted Hôpital Saint-Jean, a hospital founded in the 12th century by order of King Henry II of England, also lord of Anjou.
Angers’s many parks and gardens, the Basses Vallées Angevines, the area where several rivers merge just north of town, the exceptional St-Aubin Island, and traditional river cruises offer different, calmer natural excursions around the town and its surrounds.