I have a lot of customers in the Loire Valley, so I often take the train to Angers for work and then rent a car from there. Which means that I drive by this about once a month:
But it's usually early on a Monday morning, and I have places to go, so I never get a chance to stop. This time though, I arrived on a Sunday afternoon and had a co-worker with me, so we decided to stop by and take a look.
I discovered the castle is surrounded by a beautifully-decorated moat:And that it's actually quite the imposing building:Unfortunately the ticket office had already closed, so we couldn't visit it, but after taking a look in the courtyard, it is now definitely on my list of things to do!As a side note, one of the things I've always liked about the Château d'Angers is that it's so different from most of the other castles in the Loire Valley. As you can see from the pictures, instead of being an opulent palace like say Chenonceau or Chambord, it's more of a fortress.
According to the signage outside, the current structure was built in 1232 on a site that previously housed a smaller fortress built by the Romans many-a-year ago. The other interesting thing about this castle is that it houses the Apocalypse Tapestry, which was commissioned in 1373 by Louis I. I always confuse this one with the famous Tapestry in Bayeux.
I do have to say though that the area between Angers and Saumur is one of my favorites in all of France. There's a castle around every corner, lots of great wine (and other liquors like Cointreau), plus things to do for all ages and goûts. You can rent a bike and bike through the vineyards, canoe down the river, do a wine tasting, visit as many castles as your little heart desires, etc. Whether you're going en famille or en amoreux, I'd definitely recommend it for any of the long-weekends the French love so well (but you will need a car).