On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Beauty comes in so many different forms. A castle that was rebuilt as a chateau. A castle that has never been taken by force, ever, in all of history. It must be awe inspiring to see these in person, but this is the next best thing. ~WaterGirl
Angers is not a typical French chateau – it is a medieval castle and was built at a Roman site in the ninth century as part of an effort to protect Anjou from the Normans. The chateau was rebuilt by Louis IX (Saint Louis) in the early part of the 13th century. It’s primarily been used as a fortress and armory (through the First and Second World Wars). The castle has never been taken by any invading force in its history.
Part of the 9 feet thick outer wall. The castle is protected by 17 massive towers made of schist and tufa.
Part of the gardens inside the castle. I wish the weather would have allowed us to wander the gardens.
This is an interior shot of the Renaissance era chapel. The chapel is a sainte chapelle, the name given to churches which enshrined a relic of the Passion. The relic at Angers was a splinter of the fragment of the True Cross which had been acquired by Louis IX.
Angers is home to the Apocalypse Tapestry – a large medieval French set of tapestries commissioned by Louis I, the Duke of Anjou, and produced between 1377 and 1382. The Apocalypse Tapestry depicts the story of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation and is the oldest French medieval tapestry to have survived.
The tapestry picture isn’t mine. You aren’t allowed to take photos, but Kimon Berlin did. The tapestries are truly breathtaking – the stitches are incredibly fine. They cover all the walls in an enormous room.
Awesome pics, thanks. I lived briefly in France and those cheese eating surrender monkeys were just about the mostly lovely people I’ve met. Second only to Aussies. They’ll call almost anything a chateau. The French that is, not the Australians. The Aussies almost never call anything a chateau.
Wow, that tapestry is huge! The people in the photo show its scale.
What an incredible journey you had.
Isn’t the Bayeux tapestry older? Also amazing, depiction of the Hastings 1066 invasion by William the Conqueror.
I visited this chateau many years ago and I’m still haunted by those tapestries. They’re enormous, and depict the Apocalypse in far more detail than I personally ever wanted to see.
@Mokum: I think the Bayeux Tapestry is technically an embroidery, not a tapestry, but I like it more for exactly that reason — you can see the actual stitches and picture the women sitting there sewing it.
@arrieve: So I had to look up the Bayeux Tapestry on Wikipedia just to take a look. You have scroll forever just to see the whole thing. I was just stunned at how intricate it is.
The interior is stunning!
I saw only the exterior, on an early-morning drive-by many years ago. It too was stunning… made more so by the huge flock of birds circling the keep and rising, rising, rising in the silence of the dawn summer air.
Wikipedia says that these are the oldest surviving French tapestries. The article has pictures of some of the individual ones as well as this one of a whole wall. The tapestries Americans are probably the most familiar with are the ones in the series The Hunt of the Unicorn, from the sixteenth century. They are displayed in The Cloisters in NYC. There is a set of modern tapestries closely based on them in Stirling Castle in Scotland. When I was there several years ago, they were still being made on-site. The weavers were not working so we were allowed to go into the workshop.
Thanks for the pictures.
The castle was never successfully assaulted, but the city was easily taken by the US 5th Infantry Division, Xx Corps, in August 1944 during WW2.
@Mokum: Not to be pendantic, but the Bayeux Tapestry is actually an embroidery, not a tapestry. But yes, it dates back to the 1070s, so a clearly older piece.
ETA: I see arrieve made my point long ago.
Comrade Colette Collaboratrice
Lovely! Monsieur Colette and I visited there 20 or so years ago, fortunately on a sunny spring day with the flowers going wild. It made for quite a contrast with the gloom of the Apocalypse tapestries.
Bayeux – the embroidery and the town – is worth a plane ride by itself, if we ever get to do that again.