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Angers and the Chateau of Brissac :
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Angers and the Chateau of Brissac
Angers and the Chateau of BrissacBy car, 23 km, 1 day
In the heart of the old city of Angers, the fine St-Maurice cathedral, dating from the 12C and 13C, rises up with its three towers, two of which are topped by 70 m spires. The chateau of Angers is a forbidding fortress whose seventeen towers are reflected in the Maine.This splendid setting is home to the famous Tapestry of the Apocalypse, the longest known mediaeval tapestry, measuring 104 m. South of Angers, Brissac has an astonishing, outsize chateau: not to be missed!Customise this route and add it to My travel book
Round towers, streaked with somber schiste and white stones, this is a perfect example of feudal architecture! The chateau, built between 1228 and 1238 by Saint Louis, was almost demolished by Henri III, during the religious wars. By chance the governor was happy to decrown the towers and lay them on the terrace. Once inside, you will see a 15C chapel with finely sculpted Gothic doors, and the royal dwelling which houses a Mural of the Passion and several mille-fleurs style tapestries, one of which is the admirable Lady on the Organ . But this is eclipsed by the famous Mural of the Apocalypse, the oldest, which has been passed on from Queen Mathilda in Bayeux. In a specially designed building, this immense mural, convincingly carried out between 1373 and 1383 from sketches of Hennequin de Bruges, faithfully interprets the texte of Saint Jean. Six works each present a central character with two strips of sevent paintings the base of which is in the form of a read and blue chequer board. There are two long borders, one representing heaven, which is full of angels and one Earth, dotted with flowers. What is particulary interesting: the bad characters are often given English characteristics! No words can do this work justice. You have to see it and let the beauty of this masterpiece fill your soul.
The door which has been mutilated several times, is nevertheless adorned with some spellbindingly beautiful statues. Inside, note the Angers style arches, which are very distinct. The ogival keystone is situated 2m above the formeret keystones and joists. (elsewhere they are all the same height). The Cathedral also has some superb stained-glass windows , whose blue and red light illuminates the chancel.
This family château is set in a fine park planted with cedar trees, overlooking the Aubance Valley. 200 windows punctuate the façades, which reveal a rather surprising juxtaposition of two styles, one medieval and the other dating from the time of Louis XIII. Inside, the French-style ceilings are still adorned with their original 17C paintings. The tapestries and furniture are remarkable. A fine Louis XIII staircase leads up to the first floor, and on the second floor is a delightful 17C-style theatre built in 1883.