The secrets of the Château d'Angers
Uncover the mysteries of the Château d'Angers, the majestic 13th century monument whose towers and ramparts stand in the city centre. Behind its apparent bonhomie hides a unique and sometimes troubling history, which has now given way to some incredible initiatives!
In that gaols of the Château d’Angers
This is without a doubt the château's best-kept secret. A few lucky visitors are occasionally able to explore it in the company of a guide, but this is a rare privilege. These are the unsettling dungeons tucked away in tower number 17 of the monument. Once their eyes have become accustomed to the shadows, visitors can see shackles fastened to the wall in a corner of the room. This was used to chain up the "raging mad" in the 19th century, when the site was used as an asylum as well as a prison. Inside the hollows of another tower, the stone bears the graffiti of English sailors locked up here in the 18th century. Fouquet, who was captured in 1661 in Nantes by the famous d'Artagnan, was also kept here.
A little paradise for animals!
Further on, the Château d'Angers, originally built by Louis IX before becoming the residence of Yolande of Aragon and King René, reveals another amazing and more contemporary side. Who would have guessed that the 25,000 m2 of the estate are designated a refuge by the French League for the Protection of Birds? 23 species flourish here, protected from predators and crop protection agents. These include blackbirds, blue tits, wood pigeons and collared doves. What's more, the roof terrace next to the main entrance is home to hives that visitors can see from the wall walk. They produce some excellent honey.
The mysterious Apocalypse Tapestry
Below, an impressively-sized room houses the Apocalypse Tapestry. Created in the late 14th century and requiring nine years of work to make, this is a globally-unique masterpiece of medieval art that illustrates the story of the Apocalypse by Saint John. It now around a hundred metres long, as opposed to 140 originally, with some sections apparently having vanished into the ether... Historians continue to discover details that gradually shed light on the mystery of this incredible creation. It would seem that this very old resident of the château has not finished telling all its secrets!