1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers
> 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes
(e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
The Maine, the castle, and the spires of the cathedral
Angers (French: [ɑ̃ʒe] ( listen)) is a city in
western France, about 300 km (190 mi) southwest of Paris. It
is chef-lieu of the
Maine-et-Loire department and was, before the
French Revolution, the capital of the province of Anjou. The
inhabitants of both the city and the province are called Angevins. The
Angers proper, without the metropolitan area, is the third
most populous in northwestern
Rennes and the
17th in France.
Angers is the historical capital of
Anjou and was for centuries an
important stronghold in northwestern France. It is the cradle of the
Plantagenet dynasty and was during the reign of René of
Anjou one of
the intellectual centers of Europe.
Angers developed at the confluence
of three rivers, the Mayenne, the Sarthe, and the Loir, all coming
from the north and flowing south to the Loire. Their confluence, just
north of Angers, creates the Maine, a short but wide river that flows
into the Loire several kilometers south. The
Angers metropolitan area
is a major economic center in western France, particularly active in
the industrial sector, horticulture, and business tourism.
Angers proper covers 42.70 square kilometers (16.5 sq mi)
and has a population of 147,305 inhabitants, while around 394,700 live
in its metropolitan area. The
Angers Loire Métropole is made up of 30
communes covering 540 square kilometers (208 square miles) with
Angers enjoys a rich cultural life, made possible by its universities
and museums. The old medieval center is still dominated by the massive
château of the Plantagenêts, home of the
Apocalypse Tapestry, the
biggest medieval tapestry ensemble in the world.
Angers is also both
at the edge of the Val de Loire, a World Heritage Site, and the
Touraine regional natural park.
2.2 Metropolitan area
2.4 Urban morphology
2.5 Green areas
3.1 Prehistory and Antiquity
3.2 Middle Ages
3.4 Classical period
3.5 French Revolution
3.6 Since 1800
7 Health and education
9.1 Main sights
9.3 Entertainment and performing arts
11 People from Angers
12 Twin cities
13 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
The town is called Andegavum
Angers on this 1657 engraving
The city is first mentioned by
Ptolemy around AD 150 in his
Geography. It was then known as Juliomagus (Greek:
Ιουλιομαγος, Iouliomagos), a name by which it also
appears in the Tabula Peutingeriana. The name is a compound of the
Julius (probably in reference to
Julius Caesar) and the
Celtic magos, "market". Similar town dedications were common in Roman
Gaul, and toponyms often kept a Gallic element. When the location
needed to be distinguished from other Juliomagi, it was known as
Juliomagus Andecavorum ("Juliomagus of the Andecavi"), in reference to
the principal Gallic tribe in and around the city.
Around AD 400, the city came to be referred to as the civitas
Andecavorum ("tribal capital of the Andecavi"). This was a common
change in Gaul, also seen in the names of Paris,
Tours and Évreux
around this time. During the Middle Ages, the late Latin name
gradually developed into the modern one. It is successively mentioned
as Andecava civitas (6th century), Andecavis (AD 769),
Andegavis (861 x 882), Angieus (in 1127) and Angeus (in
1205). The form Angiers appeared during the 12th century and was
later corrupted to "Angers".
The Latin Andecavum gave also
Anjou its name. This double formation is
quite common in
France and is also seen in
Bourges & Berry.
Angers was traditionally known as the "Black City" (la Ville Noire)
from its slate roofs. As these have become less common since the
development of the city in the 19th century, the city has also
been known as:
Athens of the West" (Athènes de l'Ouest), a name borne since the
19th century from the development of its university
"The City of Flowers" (Ville des fleurs), a name from the Second
"Green City" (Ville verte), in reference to its numerous parks and
important horticultural industry
Angers the White" (
Angers la Blanche), from its modern tufa façades
and with ironic reference to its former name
Coat of arms of Angers
Coat of arms under Napoleon's rule
The coat of arms of
Angers bears the French royal fleur de lys of the
Anjou (the first duke was the son of the king of France, Jean
II); the key evokes the stronghold position of the city close to the
Breton border. An acrostic from the
Middle Ages calls it Antique clef
de France, which means "Ancient key to France":
Antique clef de France, (antique key to France)
Neteté de souffrance, (sharpness of displeasure)
Garant contre ennemis, (protection against enemies)
Etappe d'assurance, (step of assurance)
Recours de secourance, (help of relief)
Securité d'amis. (security for friends)
Under Napoleon I's rule,
Angers was one of the "Bonnes villes" and was
therefore allowed to ask for a new coat of arms. The bees, symbol of
the First French Empire, then replaced the royal fleurs de lys.
Angers received the 1939–1945 War Cross and since then, the
decoration is sometimes placed between the two fleurs de lys.
Angers also had several mottos through its history:
During Antiquity: Assiuis conciliis (or consiliis);
From 1434 to 1480 (reign of René of Anjou): D'ardent désir;
In 1499: Antique clef de France;
Until June 1987: Angers, la qualité.
The confluence of the Maine and the Loire some 4 miles (6.4 km)
south west of Angers
Angers in located at the geographical center of the Maine-et-Loire
department, on the road which connects
Paris to the Atlantic ocean.
The city is situated just south of the confluence of the Loir, Mayenne
Sarthe which form together the river Maine. The Maine crosses
Angers and heads south towards the Loire. The confluence of the three
rivers and the proximity of the Loire make up a natural crossroads
which favoured the foundation of the antique Juliomagus.
Angers is located 91 km (57 mi) from Nantes, 124 km
(77 mi) from Rennes, 132 km (82 mi) from
297 km (185 mi) from Paris. It is also 118 km
(73 mi) far from Pornic, the closest sea resort, situated on the
Elevation varies 12 to 64 meters (39 to 210 ft) above sea
Angers is a hilly town, particularly marked by a rocky
promontory dominating the lower valley of Anjou. This was the site of
the ancient city and still houses the town's castle, cathedral, and
At the north and south, where the river Maine arrives in and leaves
Angers, the landscape is formed by islands, ponds and floodplains
which are a haven for birds and a typical flora of the Val de Loire.
The étang Saint-Nicolas and Lac de Maine, both artificial, are among
the biggest green areas of the city.
The commune of
Angers is bordered by ten other communes which form
various suburbs. These are, clockwise, Avrillé, Cantenay-Épinard,
Écouflant, Saint-Barthélemy-d'Anjou, Trélazé, Les Ponts-de-Cé,
Bouchemaine and Beaucouzé. 22 other communes
situated farther form with them the Communauté urbaine
Métropole. All these peripheral communes are situated within
17 km (11 mi) from
Angers proper. Together, they have around
Angers has an oceanic climate, with moderate rain year-round. Winters
have scarce frosts and snowfalls, and summers are warm and sunny.
Climate data for
Angers (located in Beaucouzé, 1981–2010)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Average snowy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Meteo France
Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity, snowy days 1961–1990)
Angers around 1850, with the river Maine at the middle, the castle and
the medieval town on the right bank and La Doutre and its river port
on the left bank
The oldest streets and buildings in
Angers are located on the
promontory where the castle stands. The urban structure there dates
back from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. A military presence
there has been attested since the 3rd century and some remains of
an antique city wall are still visible in the castle grounds This
wall was built to protect the city from the Germanic invasions of
AD 275 & 276.
The Castle was during the
Middle Ages the core of the city defense
system, composed of tall city walls and river chains to prevent enemy
ships from going up the Maine. The walls were last reconstructed
between 1230 and 1240, on an order of King Louis IX. Today,
portions of wall are still visible in Rue Toussaint and Boulevard
Carnot, as well as some towers, like the Tour Villebon and the Tour
Before the first cadastre (1810), the city had maintained much of its
medieval limits: on and around the castle promontory, with some
dwellings on the other bank of the Maine, a quarter called La Doutre.
That part of the city experienced a quick development during the
industrial revolution and became a big river port. Industry was
encouraged by firms like Bessonneau (textile factories) and Cointreau
(distillery). After 1850, many suburbs appeared around the train
stations and the farther slate quarries in Trélazé. Despite the port
in La Doutre, demographic growth and urban extension were still more
important on the eastern bank of the Maine, on which the ancient
Juliomagus was founded.
The medieval city center was redeveloped and expanded from 1791. The
Place du Ralliement, the main square, was then built in place of three
churches destroyed during the
French Revolution and, later, ring
boulevards planted with trees replaced the city walls. The
architectural style used is mainly Haussmanian, but leaves sometimes
room for Palladian,
Art Nouveau or
Art Deco buildings.
After 1945 and the Second World War, several large council estates
made of tower blocks were built around the city center, the first of
them being Belle-Beille in 1953. The industrial activities drastically
changed; port activity declined whereas new factories, such as
Technicolor SA in 1957, emerged. During the 1970s, the modernist
approach on urban extension was replaced by a more individualistic
point of view and more and more detached houses were built for the
middle class. The metropolitan area kept enlarging, commuting became
general and new shopping areas were constructed close to the former
villages engulfed by the city. Because of the floodplains that
surround the city north and south,
Angers can only grow significantly
on an east-west axis.
The Tour des Anglais, a remain of the medieval city walls
Traditional slated roof
Half-timbered houses in rue de l'Oisellerie
View of La Doutre; the industrial port has become a marina
The Place du Ralliement
A department store on a 19th-century street
A council estate in La Roseraie
Gardens in the castle moat.
Being both at the edge of the
Val de Loire
Val de Loire World Heritage site and on
the largest river confluence in France,
Angers has a high natural
potential, notably highlighted by the Saint-Aubin island, situated
north of the center and covering a tenth of the city total surface.
Protected, the island is formed of swamps and natural meadows.
The oldest green areas date back from the Renaissance, when the moats
of the castle were transformed into pleasure and kitchen gardens.
Similar gardens were built by the aristocracy around their hôtels
particuliers and medicinal gardens were planted in hospices cloisters.
The Jardin des plantes, the first botanical garden, dates back from
the beginning of the 18th century. During the 19th century, others
were built, for example the Faculty of Pharmacy garden and the
Roseraie. The first recreational parks, for their part, were built
during the Second French Empire. The étang Saint-Nicolas, made by a
sluice on a small river, the Brionneau, was protected as early as
The Jardin du Mail (Mall Garden), an esplanade situated outside the
ring boulevards, was built between 1820 and 1880 on the former Champs
de Mars (Fields of Mars, a place where the garrisons used to train and
parade). Another esplanade, the Mail François Mitterrand, was built
in 1999 together with a garden inside the new Saint-Serge business
district. During the 1960s the old gravel pits around the Maine were
filled with water to form the Lac de Maine, which now hosts a marina.
In 2010, a large amusement park, Terra Botanica, was inaugurated close
to Saint-Aubin island.
The Saint-Aubin island protected area
Planted quays around the river Maine
Jardin du Mail
Sunset on the Lac de Maine
See also: Timeline of Angers
Prehistory and Antiquity
A model of a sword from the
Bronze Age discovered in the 2000s in the
The first sign of human presence in
Angers dates back to around
400,000 BC. Vestiges from the
Neolithic are more
abundant and include numerous polished stone axes. Burials from
4500 x 3500 BC were also discovered in the actual
During the 5th century BC, the Andecavi, a Celtic people, settled
north of the Loire. By the end of the Age of Iron,
Angers was a
relatively densely populated hillfort. The settlement's Roman name
Juliomagus might be more ancient but is not attested before the 3rd
century. The Roman town consisted of many villas and baths and had an
amphitheater as well as a Mithraeum, a temple dedicated to Mithra.
Successive Germanic invasions in AD 275 and 276 forced the
inhabitants to move to the highest point of their city and to build a
wall around a small area of around 9 hectares (22 acres).
The castle, seat of the
Angers received its first bishop in 372 during the election of Martin
of Tours. The first abbey, Saint-Aubin, was built during the 7th
century to house the sarcophagus of Saint Albinius. Saint-Serge Abbey
was founded by the Merovingian kings
Clovis II and
Theuderic III a
century later. In 2008, ten Frankish sarcophagi from that period were
discovered where Saint-Morille church once stood during the tramway
From the 850s,
Angers suffered from its situation on the border with
Brittany and Normandy. In September 851,
Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald and Erispoe,
a Breton chief, met in the town to sign the Treaty of Angers, which
secured Breton independence and fixed the borders of Brittany.
However, the situation remained dangerous for Angers, and Charles the
Bald created in 853 a wide buffer zone around
parts of Anjou, Touraine, Maine and Sées, which was ruled by Robert
the Strong, a great-grandfather of Hugh Capet.
In 870, the
Angers where he settled until
a successful siege temporarily displaced him. He again took control of
the town in 873, before the
Carolingian Emperor ousted him.
The Hospice Saint-Jean, founded by Henry II Plantagenêt
Fulk I of Anjou, a
Carolingian descendant, was the first viscount of
Angers (before 898 until 929) and of
Tours (898–909), and count of
Nantes (909–919). Around 929, he took the title of count (earl) of
Angers and founded the first
Anjou dynasty, the House of Ingelger
Angers subsequently formed the capital of the
province of Anjou.
During the 12th century, after internal divisions in Brittany, the
Nantes was annexed by Anjou. Henry II
Plantagenêt kept it
for more than 30 years. At the same time, he also ruled the vast
Angevin Empire, which stretched from the
Pyrenees to Ireland. The
Angers was then the seat of the Court and the dynasty. The
Empire disappeared in 1204–1205 when the King of France, Philip II,
Normandy and Anjou. Henceforth there were no more counts of
Anjou, as the French king had made
Anjou a dukedom.
Now a part of the Kingdom of France,
Angers became the "Key to the
Kingdom" (Clé du Royaume) facing still independent Brittany. In 1228,
during Louis IX's minority,
Blanche of Castile
Blanche of Castile decided to fortify the
city and to rebuild the castle. Later, during the 1350s and 1360s, the
schools of Law, Medicine and Theology, renowned in Europe, were
organized into a university. In 1373,
Louis I of Naples
Louis I of Naples and Anjou
ordered the six tapestries illustrating the
Apocalypse of St John
known today as the
René of Naples and Anjou, nicknamed Good King René, and his second
wife, Jeanne de Laval
King René of
Anjou contributed to the economic revival in a city that
had been diminished by the
Black Death (1347–1350) and the Hundred
Years War (1337–1453). A man of great culture and generosity, René
Angers into a cultural and political center and held court
there. He transformed the castle moat into a menagerie and built
several gardens. He also founded in
Angers a new Ordre du Croissant
which was supposed to compete with the Order of the Golden Fleece,
created several years earlier.
In 1474, Louis XI of France, in his attempt to conquer Anjou, came to
Angers with his army, asking for the keys of the city. René, then
65 years old, did not want to lead a war against his nephew and
surrendered his domains without a fight. Thus,
Anjou ceased to be an
appanage and fell into the Royal domain. After his death, René was
buried in 1480 in Saint-Maurice cathedral.
The Logis Barrault, where the Edict of
Nantes was prepared
Angers became the seat of a bailiwick and the présidial of a
jurisdiction, a position the city kept until 1790. At the same time,
with the growth of
Protestantism in France, a Catholic was placed at
the head of the city and its castle while the bourgeoisie formed a
Catholic militia to protect
Angers from the Huguenots. The bishop,
Gabriel Bouvery, organized on his side an "Angevin League".
When the news of the
St. Bartholomew's Day massacre
St. Bartholomew's Day massacre arrived in Angers,
a new massacre was organized in the city. The bodies of slain
Protestants were thrown in the Mayenne. It is the aldermen who stopped
In 1598, the Edict of
Nantes was prepared by Henri IV in Angers. From
6 March until 2 April,
Angers was de facto the capital of
the King tried all means to satisfy the Catholics of the city, for
example by laying the cornerstone of the new Couvent des Capucins.
In 1619, Louis XIII of
France gave the governance of
Anjou to his
mother, Marie de' Medici. The Queen Mother settled in Angers, at the
Logis Barrault, with her chaplain, Cardinal Richelieu.
At the premature death of Louis XIII in 1643, his son Louis XIV was
only an infant.
France was troubled at this time by several famines
and epidemics, and by political instability. In 1649, the people of
Angers revolted against rising taxes, the start of the
Fronde was a nationwide military conflict opposing some
aristocrats wanting more autonomy and the Royal forces loyal to Anne
of Austria as Queen Mother and Regent, and her prime minister,
Cardinal Mazarin. Royalist repression in
Angers was narrowly averted
by Bishop Henri Arnauld, who interceded with the Queen Mother.
Arnauld, who would remain
Bishop of Angers
Bishop of Angers until 1692, was to leave a
deep mark on the religious life of the city during the second half of
the 17th century.
In 1652, Henri Chabot, Duke of Rohan and governor of Anjou, decided to
back Louis of Condé, leader of the Fronde.
Angers again became
rebellious and Louis XIV sent his army to seize it. The Duke of Rohan
immediately surrendered and thus again prevented the sack of the city.
One of the cahiers de doléances written in
Angers in 1789
The first months of the
French Revolution were relatively quiet in
Angers. In 1789, the city lost its ancient administrative positions,
replaced in 1790 by the department of Mayenne-et-Loire, soon renamed
"Maine-et-Loire". Anjou, as a political entity, disappeared, although
the new department included most of its territory.
The War of Vendée, a Royalist rebellion and counterrevolution led in
Vendée, a department located at the southwest of Maine-et-Loire,
reached the Loire in March 1793. The Royalist army soon crossed the
river and progressed as far as Granville, in Normandy, in November.
Pushed back, the Vendéens went back south and, to cross the Loire
again, had to attack Angers.
The city was defended by 4,000 Republican soldiers, whereas the
Royalists were at least 20,000, but weakened by successive fights and
Siege of Angers
Siege of Angers occurred on 3 and 4 December 1793. The
Royalists' bad tactics, as well as the strength of
Angers city wall
and castle, caused their loss. They consequently went back north for a
while, around Le Mans, before crossing the Loire at
Ancenis on 16
In 1794, fierce repression was conducted in the whole region against
the Royalists. In Angers, 290 prisoners were shot and 1020 died of
illness in jail. The city also welcomed many refugees, mostly
Republicans living in Royalist rural areas. Between 19 and 31 May
1793, between 650 and 1000 Republican families sought asylum in
The Pont de Segré, a truss railroad bridge built on the Maine during
the second half of the 19th century
During the 19th century, the city was deeply influenced by the urban
transformations in Paris. The city traditionally had a somewhat sombre
appearance from the quantity of local slate used in construction but
many quarters were gradually destroyed, redeveloped, or rebuilt on the
Parisian model. The city wall, which formed a square around the
old city core, was demolished around 1850 and replaced by wide
boulevards. New districts of the city were also opened up on the
opposite bank of the river.
In 1849, the Angers-
Saumur railway was built; it was extended to
Nantes two years later. When completed, the line connected
the Atlantic coast.
In 1850, a catastrophic failure of the Basse-Chaîne suspension bridge
caused the deaths of over 200 soldiers. The disaster inhibited the
construction of suspension bridges in
France for two decades. The
accident was mainly caused by soldiers' lilting march which created
resonance in the bridge structure.
In 1875, a "free faculty" was created. It was soon assimilated to the
medieval Angevin University (Universitas Andegavensis), which had been
dissolved during the French Revolution. The new faculty was
canonically erected as the Catholic
University of Angers
University of Angers (Université
catholique d'Angers) by
Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX in 1879. However, in 1890, a law
prohibited private institutions of higher education from calling
themselves "universities". The institution was then renamed the "Free
Faculty of Angers" (Faculté libre d'Angers), although it kept its
original name on an informal basis. At the beginning of the 20th
century, two higher education establishments, specializing in
agriculture and commercial sciences, were opened.
The fountain in Jardin du Mail, built for the 1900 Exposition
Universelle in Paris
During the first half of the 20th century, several
Art Nouveau and Art
Deco buildings were constructed, such as the Nouvelles Galeries, the
Hotel des Postes, Hotel Continental, the Alcazar and the Maison bleue.
In September 1939, when
Poland was invaded by Germany, the Polish
government-in-exile settled in Angers. It left the city on 12 June
1940, after the invasion of
France by the Wehrmacht.
Angers fell to
the Nazis during the same month. The Germans made it the seat of a
regional Kommandantur. In 1941, a first Resistance movement, called
Honneur et Patrie, was created in Angers. 60 Resistants were shot at
the Belle-Beille range in 1942 and a German bunker factory employed
6000 people in 1943. In July 1942, 853 Jews were arrested and sent
On the night of 28 May 1944, the first Allied bombing occurred over
the Saint-Laud quarter. 243 people died and many others were wounded.
Successive attacks on 29 and 30 May destroyed the train station and
its surroundings which were reconstructed in the 1950s.
Avranches and Rennes,
General Patton and his 5th
infantry division arrived in
Anjou on 5 August. To seize Angers, they
decided to enter the city by its eastern side to surprise the Nazis.
On 9 August, they crossed the Maine and started the fight. Helped by
the local French Forces of the Interior, they progressively moved
forward to the city center. The fight was nevertheless difficult and
Angers was liberated the day after, at around 5 p.m.
After the end of the war, the city experienced quick development and
demographic growth. In 1971, a decision was made to reestablish a
public university, and the Université catholique d'
Angers was split
between the Université catholique de l'Ouest (private) and the
Angers continues to have two different
Until the 1980s,
Angers experienced several massive urban development
plans, such as the construction of the Lac de Maine, and several vast
council estates and shopping malls, as well as the construction of a
highway which crossed the city through its center, a project that
forced the destruction of many old buildings and destroyed the
original quays on the Maine. Later, other urban plans were drawn up,
with a new emphasis on nature and heritage protection, as well as on
social mixing. During the 1990s, the redevelopment of the Saint-Serge
quarter, located just north of the historical center, produced a new
business center, gardens and university buildings.
Angers and the Maine river
The court of appeal in the Jardin du Mail
Angers received its communal charter from Louis XI of
February 1475, but free elections for the mayor and aldermen were not
guaranteed before 1484, following a decision by Charles VIII. Since
then, 75 successive mayors have governed Angers.
Angers was until the
Second World War
Second World War mainly governed by centrist and
republican mayors. Since 1977, all the successive mayors have been
members of the Socialist Party, whereas the
has always been governed by moderate right-wing parties. Following
Jean-Claude Antonini's resignation in 2012, the current mayor is
Angers is divided into eight cantons; most of them include parts of
Angers plus some surrounding communes. These cantons are not
administrative entities and only serve to elect the members of the
department council. The INSEE, the French institute for statistics,
divides the commune of
Angers into twelve sectors. Depending on their
social and economic issues, some of them can have priority for
financial assistance and urban regeneration. In Angers, five are
considered as priority sectors, three as sensitive urban areas, and
one as an urban free zone.
Being the chef-lieu of Maine-et-Loire,
Angers is the seat of a
prefecture. It is also the seat of an Court of Appeal and of several
regional or local institutes, concerning for example, customs,
education or science.
Angers also has several other courts of justice
as well as a prison.
Angers had 147,305 inhabitants, 0.3% less than ten years
before. It is the 18th most populated commune in France, having
reached its maximum population in 2006, with 152,337 inhabitants.
Censuses have been conducted since 1793.
In 2009, the urban area, which encompasses
Angers plus nine
surrounding communes (188.6 square kilometers (72.8 square miles) in
total), had 215,132 inhabitants. The metropolitan area included in
2009 133 communes, 394,710 inhabitants and 2,353.8 square kilometers
(908.8 square miles). The
Angers Loire Métropole, an economic and
political association of communes, includes 30 communes and around
The population of
Angers is relatively young, with 48% of the
population being younger than 30 and the proportion of residents over
60 years old (18.9%) being lower than both the national (22.1%) and
departmental (21.4%) rates. This is partially explained by the
presence of two universities, 21.3% of the population being pupils and
students in 2009.
Source: Base Cassini from EHESS for figures until 1962
A bottle of Cointreau, a liqueur produced in
Saint-Barthélemy-d'Anjou, near Angers, since 1849
The early prosperity of the town was largely due to the nearby
quarries of slate, whose abundant use for the roofs of
Angers led to
its sobriquet as the "Black City". In the mid-19th century, the
principal manufactures were goods for sailing ships (sailcloth and
rope), linen and hose, sugar, leather, wax, and oil, as well as
agricultural products (mainly wheat, wine, and fruit). By the time
of the First World War,
Cointreau had developed the distillation of
liqueurs from the area's fruit to an industrial level. The work for
sailing ships was still carried on but steamships had greatly reduced
demand. Instead, local companies produced cables, wires, and thread
and increased production of footwear, umbrellas, and parasols. The
area's vineyards focused on sparkling wine and fruit was increasingly
preserved for sale elsewhere. The area had also developed a
small-scale textile industry and begun producing machines, as well as
commercial-scale production of hemp and flowers.
Angers provides 45.7% of the
Maine-et-Loire job positions.
It is the 22nd-largest national job provider and the 3rd-largest one
Nantes and Rennes. Its unemployment rate
(9.9% in 2009) is close to the national rate. 21.4% of the people
Angers have graduate or post-graduate qualifications.
Cointreau continues to produce its orange triple-sec liqueur in nearby
Saint-Barthélemy-d'Anjou, but many of the other industries have since
Angers produces Scania trucks at
computers by Bull, Packard Bell, and NEC. It also supports research
labs investigating horticulture and biotechnology. Thanks to its
several higher education schools, laboratories, and various offices,
Angers is the largest horticultural center in Europe and, as the
home of the Community Plant Variety Office,
Angers is the hub of the
plant breeders' rights system in the European Community. For example,
Angers is the leading hydrangeas producer in Europe. The local
economy also relies on the presence of many administrative,
educational, and health institutions. There are also many small firms,
chiefly focused on the agricultural tradition of Maine-et-Loire.
Angers also serves as a regional financial center, with many banks and
insurance companies (including Afone, CNP Assurances, Crédit
agricole, Fiducial, and Groupama) maintaining their regional offices
Angers is an important convention center, with a present convention
trade of around €8,000,000. The new convention center slated for
2016 has been cancelled in 2013. The renovation of the previous
convention center and the addition of a 400 conference room at the
back by the garden should be finished in 2018. The Parc des
Expositions, where fairs are currently held, welcomes 600,000 visitors
and more than 300 events each year. With its 27,000 m2
(290,626 sq ft), it is the biggest structure of its type in
Health and education
The Faculty of Law and Economics
The Hôtel-Dieu, founded in the 12th century, is one of the oldest
hospitals in France. First located in the Hospice Saint-Jean, it moved
into new buildings in 1870; it became Centre Hospitalier Universitaire
(CHU) in 1966. It has 1,500 beds and around 5,500 people work
there. Two private hospitals and a regional center for
re-education also exist.
A center of learning,
Angers boasts two renowned universities and
several specialized institutions, altogether enrolling more than
26,000 students. The
Catholic University of the West (Université
Catholique de L'Ouest or UCO) is one of five Catholic universities in
France. UCO is best known for its International Center for the Study
of the French Language (Centre international d'étude de la langue
française or CIDEF), which provides college students from around the
world with college-level course instruction in the French language,
and for its Institute for the Development of Consulting and Business
(Institut pour le developpement du conseil et de l'entreprise or
IDCE), an important business school which offers undergraduate and
graduate (MBA) degrees in International Business and Consulting. The
town is also home to a state university, the University of Angers,
best university in
France in 2015 for success rates.
Arts et Métiers ParisTech
Angers is also home to engineering graduate schools, such as the Arts
et Métiers ParisTech, top school in mechanical and industrial
engineering and the ESEO, an engineering school in electronics and
computer science. Its education and research institutes are the
driving force behind the city's science and technology industries.
Angers's other educational institutions include lycées, training
colleges and a school of fine art.
Another Angers's Business School is
ESSCA (Ecole Superieure des
Sciences Commerciales d'Angers). Formerly part of the UCO, the
school's Master's program is of a duration of five years. ESSCA
recruits students after the Baccalaureat.
In addition to French schools and universities, an American
university, St. Edward's University, has a new expanding campus in
St. Edward's University
St. Edward's University is a diverse, Catholic liberal arts
institution from Austin, Texas. The university has a partnership with
UCO, and offers a variety of courses of undergraduate level and
A tram approaching "Les Gares" stop
Angers is situated on the crossroads of three highways, the A11, to
Paris and Nantes, the A87 to
La Roche-sur-Yon and the A85 to
Lyon. National roads connect the city with Rennes,
Caen and Laval.
Before the construction of bypasses during the 2000s, the A11 crossed
the city center, following the river Maine, and passed just below the
castle. Causing air pollution and noise and disfiguring the Maine
quays, the portions of the former highway which are still in place
should be redeveloped in the coming years.
Angers inaugurated the new Irigo tram system on 25 June 2011. The
tramway consists of one 12 km (7.46 mi) line with 25 stops.
The line runs from Avrillé-Ardenne in the north to Angers-Roseraie in
the south, passing by the center and the train station. Service is
provided by Keolis using 17
Alstom Citadis trams. The system uses
partial ground-level power supply, which avoids aerial wires and
preserves the historical character of the city center. A second line
is scheduled for 2018–2022. Besides the tram, Irigo also organizes
the bus network in
Angers consisting of 13 urban lines and 12 suburban
The bus station, situated outside the
Angers Saint-Laud train station,
is a hub for the departmental bus network (Anjoubus) and is also
served by international bus companies.
Angers is on both the Nantes-
Paris and Nantes-
Lyon railways. The city
has several train stations, all originally built in the 19th century.
Some are still in use; others are closed or reserved for freight. The
Angers Saint-Laud, is on a
TGV line and has a direct TGV
Paris (1 hour 30 minutes),
Lyon (3 hours 45 minutes),
Strasbourg (4 hours 35 minutes), and
Lille (3 hours 25 minutes), as
well as Avignon,
Marseilles and Montpellier. Regional trains go to
Cholet, Saumur, Tours, Blois,
Nevers and Bourges.
The nearest airport is
Angers - Loire Airport, which replaced in 1998
an older airport near the Saint-Aubin island. The airport is located
in the commune of Marcé, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from
close to the A11 and the A85. It can receive 50,000 passengers per
The Maison d'Adam (Adam's House) was built around 1500
The Château d'Angers, built on a schist promontory, dominates the
river Maine and the old town. Its site has been occupied since
antiquity; the castle itself was built between 1230 and 1240 by Louis
IX of France. The massive walls are about one kilometer long and
punctuated by 17 towers; they were built with horizontal slices of
tuff and schist, giving it strength and an original striped look.
During the 15th century, a chapel and the Châtelet were added in the
The Maison d'Adam ("Adam's House"), located behind the cathedral, is
an excellent example of the half-timbered houses which were built
during the Middle Ages. Many similar houses, although smaller, are
also visible along the streets around the castle. The city also
Renaissance and classical hôtels particuliers, the
most renowned being the Logis Pincé from the 16th century. The Maison
bleue ("Blue House"), built in 1927, is an
Art Deco masterpiece. The
former seat of the French Aviation Company (Compagnie française
d'Aviation) was built in 1938 and abandoned during the Second World
War. Totally refurbished in 2004, it is now a testimony to 1930s
The Saint-Maurice cathedral is a major landmark in the cityscape, with
its two spires culminating at 75 meters (246 ft). The
construction of the current building started during the 12th century
on the remains of an older sanctuary. The original structure,
romanesque, received gothic columns and vaults in the middle of the
12th century, giving birth to the Angevin gothic, a style that quickly
spread in Western
France and the Angevin possessions in Italy.
Sculptures and architectural details were added to the façade during
the 16th century. The twin spires were built in 1518 and 1523. The
neighbouring Palais du Tau, the former episcopal palace, dates from
the 12th century.
The skyline is also marked by the Tour Saint-Aubin. Completed in 1170,
it was the bell-tower of an abbey closed during the French Revolution
and destroyed in 1810. Elaborately sculptured 11th and 12th century
arcades also survive in the courtyard of the Prefecture. Another
abbey, the Abbaye Toussaint, founded during the 13th century, was also
partially pulled down and only the church and parts of the cloister
are still visible. On the southern limits of the commune, close to the
Maine, stands the Couvent de la Baumette, founded during the 15th
century by René of Anjou.
La Doutre, an old quarter located on the western bank of the Maine and
facing the castle, contains two major medieval sites, the former
Abbaye du Ronceray, built during the 11th and 12th century, and the
Hôpital Saint-Jean, founded by
Henry II of England
Henry II of England and used as the
city hospital until 1870.
The distinctive striped towers of the castle
The Châtelet in the castle
Façade of House of Croissant
The "Blue House"
Inside the cathedral
Palace of Tau
Tower of Saint-Aubin
Abbey of Ronceray
Abbey of Saint Nicholas (Mother-House of Good Shepherd Sisters)
The bridges over Maine (view from the
The Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Angers, located in the
Barrault, displays a collection of paintings and sculptures dating
from the 14th century to today. It is particularly renowned for its
18th-century paintings, including works by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Van
Loo, Antoine Watteau, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and Jean Siméon
Chardin. The museum also contains a graphic design studio, a gallery
devoted to the history of
Angers and a temporary exhibition gallery.
The institution has an antenna at the château in Villevêque, a
village located several kilometers north of the city.
Inside the castle, a special gallery displays the
Louis I of Naples
Louis I of Naples at the end of the 14th century. It is
more than 140 meters (460 ft) long, the largest medieval tapestry
in the world. Inspired by manuscript miniatures, the successive
scenes, designed by Jean Bondol, illustrate the
Apocalypse of St John.
Located inside the old Hôpital Saint-Jean, the Musée Jean-Lurçat et
de la tapisserie contemporaine displays tapestries dating from the
19th and 20th centuries. The museum is dedicated to Jean Lurçat, an
artist noted for his role in the revival of contemporary tapestry, and
notably exhibits his "Chant du Monde", a modern echo to the Apocalypse
Tapestry made after the bombing of Hiroshima.
The Muséum d'histoire naturelle d'
Angers has been located in the 1521
Hôtel Demarie-Valentin since 1885. It exhibits a large collection of
mounted animals and fossils, divided in three departments, one for
zoology, one for botany and the last one for paleontology and geology.
The Logis Pincé, constructed during the Renaissance, is the home of
the museum of the same name. It displays Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and
Etruscan antiquities as well as Chinese and Japanese artifacts.
Located in the Abbaye Toussaint, the Galerie
David d'Angers gathers
sculptures, reliefs, and medallions by David d'Angers, a 19th-century
sculptor born in the city. The gallery also owns the preparatory works
for the Panthéon of
Angers also enjoys a Maison de l'Architecture, which organizes various
exhibitions and workshops, as well as several temporary exhibition
galleries distributed in the city center. Outside the commune limits
are also an aviation museum and a museum of communications.
The Musée des Beaux-Arts
Les Génies des Arts by François Boucher, at the Musée des
Italian drawing, 17th century, at the Musée des Beaux-Arts
Galerie David d'Angers
Galerie David d'Angers
Entertainment and performing arts
The Grand Théâtre
The Grand Théâtre, dominating the Place du Ralliement, was first
built in 1791, but destroyed by a fire in 1853. The existing building
was completed in 1871 and its auditorium contains six stalls and four
balconies, totaling 730 seats. The Théâtre du Quai, inaugurated in
2007, has two auditoriums; one contains 980 seats and several
balconies, and the other, more flexible, can welcome 400 seated or 960
standing spectators. The Grand Théâtre and the Théâtre du Quai are
the venues of three institutions, Angers-
Nantes Opéra, an opera
company also based in Nantes, the Contemporary Dance National Center
(CNDC), inaugurated by
Alwin Nikolais in 1978, and the Nouveau
The Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, shared with Nantes,
usually performs at the Congress Center, built in 1983, with a
capacity of 1,240 seats. Other concert halls include the Chabada, the
Amphitéa and the former Ursuline chapel. Local theater companies
perform at Théâtre Chanzy, Théâtre du Champ de Bataille, Théâtre
de la Comédie or at the Centre Jean Vilar. Each September, the city
organizes a street performance festival, called the Accroche-Cœurs.
The Chabada, a popular concert hall, is the cradle of the Angevin
contemporary scene and several groups and performers were discovered
there, Les Thugs, a punk band formed in 1983, being the first ones.
The local scene also includes the alternative rock group La Ruda, the
power pop band Pony Pony Run Run, the world music band
Lo'Jo and Titi
Robin, a performer influenced by Gypsy and Arabic music.
The Premiers Plans festival, dedicated to European first films and
meant to help new directors meet their audience, is conducted every
year and lasts one week. The films are screened in three small
cinemas, while two big generalist multiplexes also exist in Angers.
Angers had a local TV channel
Angers 7 which went bankrupt in 2010 and
was replaced 3 years later by
Angers Télé. The national French
France 3, however, still presents local news in its programs.
Several national radio stations, such as Virgin Radio, NRJ and Chérie
FM maintain local antennas in Angers. The city is also the home of two
local stations, Radio Campus and Radio G!. Ouest-
France and Le
Courrier de l'Ouest are the two local newspapers, the last one having
its headquarters in Angers. The city and
Angers Loire Métropole also
edit their news bulletins.
Angers has many sport teams playing at top levels.
Angers SCO is
Angers's football team. The club was created in 1919 and returned to
Ligue 1 (French top league) in 2015 after 21 years. Les Ducs d'Angers
is Angers's ice hockey team. The club plays in the Magnus League
Anjou BC is Angers's basketball team, playing in
second division. Vaillante
Angers is Angers's table tennis team
playing in top division Pro A since the 2000-2001 season.
acts as home to the
Angers Aviron Nautique, a rowing club which
actively competes in regattas across France.
Jean-Bouin Stadium is the main sports venue which can hold 18,000
people. The city also has a variety of sports halls, tennis courts,
swimming pools, shooting and archery stands, a velodrome, a rowing
center, an ice rink and a fencing hall. The Lac de Maine Stadium
hosted the athletics championships in
France in July 2009.
People from Angers
List of people born in Angers
Zacharie Astruc (1835–1907), artist
Jean Bodin (1529–1596), philosopher and jurist, author of Six Livres
de la République
Francis Le Jau (1665–1717), Anglican missionary to West Indies and
South Carolina, worked for the humane treatment of slaves.
Michel Eugène Chevreul
Michel Eugène Chevreul (1786–1889), chemist
Joseph Louis Proust (1754–1826), chemist responsible for "Proust's
David d'Angers (1788–1856), sculptor
Germanicus Mirault (1796–1879), surgeon
Prosper Ménière (1799–1862), physician
Adolphe and Édouard-Jean Cointreau, creators of the "Cointreau"
François-Joseph Grille (1792–1853), librarian
Fernande Grudet (1923–2015), brothel-keeper
René Bazin (1853–1932), writer and educator
Fernand Charron (1866–1921), one of the first cars constructors
Octave Mirbeau dedicated to Charron La 628-E8, 1907)
Jean Durtal (1905–1999), female poet and novelist
Hervé Bazin (1911–1996), writer
Henri Dutilleux (1916–2013), composer
Joseph Wresinski (born 1917), humanitarian activist
André Bazin (1918–1958), critic of the French New Wave
Jacques Bompaire (1924–2009), Hellenist
Jacques Loussier (born 1934), composer and jazz pianist
Valerie Trierweiler (born 1965), political journalist and domestic
partner of François Hollande, the 24th President of the French
Eriq Ebouaney (Born 1967), actor
Caroline Giron-Panel (born 1979), historian and musicologist
Nicolas Mahut (born 1982), tennis player
Juliana Mialoundama (born 1993), basketball player
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help
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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France
Angers is twinned with:
Haarlem, North Holland,
Pisa, Pisa, Tuscany,
Wigan, Greater Manchester, England,
United Kingdom (1988)
Seville, Seville, Andalusia,
Austin, Texas, US (2011)
Pays de la Loire
^ "Population municipale, données légales de population en vigueur
à partir du 1er janvier 2011". INSEE.
^ "Étude comparative des villes européennes" (PDF).
^ "City data on "L'Internaute"".
^ a b Albert Dauzat;
Charles Rostaing (1979). Dictionnaire
étymologique des noms de lieu en France. Paris: Librairie
Guénégaud. p. 18b. ISBN 2-85023-076-6.
^ Ptolemy, Geography, II, 8, 8.
Charles Rostaing (1945). Presses universitaires de France, ed. Les
noms de lieux. Paris. p. 59. ISBN 2-13-038660-1.
^ Charles Rostaing, Op. cit., p. 47
^ Charles Rostaing, Op. cit., p. 46–47.
^ Ernest Nègre, Toponymie générale de la
France (Read online)
^ a b c d e f EB (1878).
^ City official website Archived 25 November 2008 at the Wayback
^ Jacques Maillard (2000). éd. Ville d'Angers, ed. Angers, XXe
siecle. Angers. p. 125. ISBN 2-85575-070-9.
^ "Laissez-vous conter Angers". vpah.culture.
^ Distinctions accordés aux emblèmes et devises, City website
^ City website Archived 1 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Elevations, Institut geographique national
^ "Données climatiques de la station de Beaucouzé" (in French).
Meteo France. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
^ "Climat Pays de la Loire" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved
January 9, 2016.
^ "Normes et records 1961–1990: Angers-
Beaucouzé (49) - altitude
50m" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
^ Fasti Ecclesiae Gallicanae
^ Archives 49 : il était une fois l'Anjou.
^ Angers, le château, Inventaire général des monuments et richesses
artistiques de la France, 1991
^ Historique du château d'Angers, Inventaire général du patrimoine
^ "Rives Nouvelles". www.angers.fr. Archived from the original on 22
^ City website[permanent dead link]
^ Michel Dillange. Op. cit, p 59–60
^ Le duché de Bretagne et la politique
Plantagenêt aux XII et XIII
siecles, Judith Everard. », in Marin Aurell and Noël-Yves
Tonnerre éditeurs. Plantagenêts et Capétiens, confrontations et
héritages, Poitiers. Brepols, 2006, Turnhout. Collection Histoires de
famille. La parenté au Moyen Âge, p. 202
^ Histoire de René d'Anjou, Louis François Villeneuve-Bargemont tome
II (1446–1476) Editions J. J. Blaise, Paris : 1825
^ Pierre Miquel, Op. cit., p. 286
^ Jacques Hussenet (dir.), « Détruisez la
Vendée ! », p. 452–453.
^ Guy-Marie Lenne, Les Réfugiés de la guerre de Vendée, p. 20–25
^ Base de connaissance Art et Histoire
^ a b Conseil general de
Maine-et-Loire (ed.). "L'
Anjou dans la
seconde guerre mondiale".
^ City website (ed.). "Août 1944.
Angers est libérée". Archived
from the original on 2013-02-13.
INSEE (ed.). "Commune d'
INSEE (ed.). "Unité urbaine 2010 d'
INSEE (ed.). "Aire urbaine 2010 d'
Angers Loire Métropole data Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback
^ BANATIC, Périmètre des EPCI à fiscalité propre. Accessed
^ a b c
INSEE (ed.). "
Angers (49007 - Commune) - Évolution et
structure de la population" (PDF).
^ "Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui". École des
hautes études en sciences sociales.
^ "Évolution et structure de la population (de 1968 à 2007)" (PDF).
^ "Recensement de la population au 1er janvier 2006". Insee.
^ "Recensement de la population au 1er janvier 2009". Insee.
^ EB (1911).
^ Website of the école Supérieure d'Agriculture d'Angers.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015.
Retrieved 9 August 2015.
^ Map of the Parc des Expositions[permanent dead link]
^ "CHU info". chu-angers.fr.
^ Les chiffres clés 2008 on the hospital website
^ "Teaching, research and industry". Angers.fr. 18 November 2009.
Retrieved 15 September 2011.
^ "Irigo.fr : site officiel des transports en commun de
l'agglomération d'Angers". bustram.irigo.fr (in French). Retrieved
Angers tram opens". Railway Gazette. 29 June 2011.
^ Eglise Saint Aubin
^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago:
Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
^ "Città Gemellate" [Twinned Cities]. Comune di Pisa. Retrieved 16
^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media.
Austin, Texas & Angers, France". Sister Cities
Baynes, T.S., ed. (1878), "Angers", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2
(9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 29
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Angers", Encyclopædia Britannica,
2 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 8–9
See also: Bibliography of the history of Angers
Célestin Port (1989). Dictionnaire historique, géographique et
Maine-et-Loire et de l'ancienne province d'
French). Angers: H. Siraudeau et Cie.
Tancrède Abraham (1876).
Angers et ses environs. Album de gravures à
l'eau-forte (in French). Château-Gontier: J.-B. Bezier.
Daniel Schweitz (2006). Châteaux et forteresses du Moyen Âge en Val
de Loire, Touraine, Anjou, Berry, Orléanais, Vendômois, Marche
bretonne (in French). Tours: CLD. ISBN 978-2-85443-490-3.
Jean-François Bodin (1823). Recherches historiques sur l'
Anjou et ses
Angers et le Bas-Anjou, Volume 2 (in French). Degouy.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Angers.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Angers.
Angers Tourist Office
"A Visit to the
Slate Quarries of Angers," France, article from the
Scientific American – Supplement No. 974, Munn & Co., New York,
1894, on Stone Quarries and Beyond.
Prefectures of departments of France
La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)
Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire)
Le Mans (Sarthe)
La Roche-sur-Yon (Vendée)
Belfort (Territoire de Belfort)
Cayenne (French Guiana)
Communes of the
Brissac Loire Aubance
Les Garennes sur Loire
Les Hauts d'Anjou
Ingrandes-Le Fresne sur Loire
Morannes sur Sarthe-Daumeray
ISNI: 0000 0001 2348 7657