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The chateau or castle of Angers, in the Loire valley dates from the 9th century however there had been a Roman fortress on the site during their occupation of ancient Gaul. Building of the current castle started in 1234. The outer wall is over 3 metres thick. It once formed part of the Angevin empire which was ruled over by the Plantaganent kings of England. The castle has 17 towers which are 18 metres in diameter. All but the Moulin Tower had their battlements removed so that the roof of the towers could be used as artillery platforms.
The chateau has a palace within its walls which was the seat of the Counts of Anjou. It has been used as a military academy which the famouse Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo, attended. It has also been used as a prison, military garrison and arsenal. Quite a lot of damage was done to the chateau during the second world war when an explosives magazine blew up. It is said that the castle has never been conquered.
The chapel was commenced in 1405 and at one time held a holy relic purporting to be a splinter of the True Cross which had been obtained by King Louis IX.
The moat has never been filled with water and for many years was used as a grazing ground for sheep. As you will see from the photos, it now contains very impressive parterre gardens.
There is also a little known museum within the castle containing some very important and rare tapestries. It was not open when we visited but I understand that the work is now complete. Jenny was not happy that we missed it.
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|Other castles in France||Carcassonne|
|Castles elsewhere||Deal, Rochester, Thetford|