Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire
The landscapes and green spaces of Angers present an exceptional backdrop to open- air heritage sites. Built on shale rock, its imposing medieval castle was the iconic home of the famous King René of Anjou, and dominates the Maine River and the historic Doutre neighbourhood. Along the Carmes quay, on the Maine’s right bank, 6,000 years of history
awaits. © Sophie Granger
Located on the banks of the Maine River, Angers would simply not be Angers without its castle! Historic capital of the Anjou region, the town was once a strategic centre for the kingdom of France in the Middle Ages. The castle dominates the town from its imposing promontory. Its thick walls hold a treasure, the Apocalypse Tapestry, the oldest and largest illustrated wall hanging in the world, covering 800m2 and presented in a specifically adapted space so that it can be entirely unwrapped. Ordered circa 1373 by Louis I of Anjou, the Louis I, Duke of Anjou, and brother to the king, it was woven based on models by Jean Bondol, also known as Jean de Bruges, and illustrates the Book of Revelation, the Apocalypse. Biblical plagues illustrate disasters caused by the Hundred Year War, such as war, the plague, famine. Louis I turned this major medieval work into a new media, like a giant woven manuscript that he would display during public ceremonies. Today, Angers has applied for the tapestry to appear on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register to support its originality and discussions about preserving and promoting this fragile piece.