A little history of Angers castle
On river Maine's banks, we are here in front of the strong castle of Angers, with its towers made of tuffeau (white stone from Touraine) and schist, king René of Anjou's fief!
The oldest parts of the current fortress was put up by king of France Louis IX (nicknamed "saint Louis") between 1228 and 1238, on a land which was occupied by count of Anjou's former palace. There also was a church, vineyard and houses belonging to St-Martin's canons.
In the 15th century, the castle's defensive system was improved. In 1485, 30 metres large ditches were dug... except on the western side, because river Maine was considered as a natural barrier! They also enlarged the towers' arrows loopholes in order to place cannons. In a word, our fortress was prepared for war!
Here is the chapel: it dates back from the beginning of the 15th century, raised by Louis II for his wife Yolande of Aragon (king René's parents) on the ruins of an older oratory built at the same time as saint Louis' castle.
You know what? In this chapel, Louis I of Anjou put the cross from the abbey of La Boissière, called the Anjou's cross (now Lorraine's cross!).
Since the 15th century, the castle was many time altered: in the 16th century, king of France François I's mother Louise of Valois, raised a keep and a private chapel.
But in 1585, during wars of religion, the fortress was torn between Catholics and Protestants. King of France Henri III ordered the castle's demolition!
Fortunately, governor Donadieu de Puycharic dragged out the business... so the fortress wasn't demolished! They only levelled two storeys on towers and they destroyed Louis of Savoy's keep.
In the 18th century, the castle was transformed into a jail: the famous Lord High Treasurer of king Louis XIV, Fouquet, was locked up here. In the 19th century, our fortress was transformed into an arsenal.
Since 1954, the castle of Angers houses the famous Apocalypse's hanging, a real medieval masterpiece.