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Maison d'Adam, House of Adam, the oldest house of Angers


Angers is a city in the Maine-et-Loiremarker department in north-western Francemarker about south-west of Parismarker. Angers is located in the French region known by its pre-revolutionary, provincial name, Anjoumarker, and its inhabitants are called Angevins.

Angers proper has a population of 157,000 inhabitants, while c. 283,000 live in its metropolitan area. The city traces its roots to early Roman times. It occupies both banks of the Mainemarker, which is spanned by six bridges. The district along the river is famous for its flourishing nurseries and market gardens. It is well known for its fresh produce and cut flowers.

History

The first sign of human presence on the site of Angers is a stone tool dated back to 400,000 BC (Lower Paleolithic). The earliest known inhabitants were the Andecavi, a Gallic tribe that was overrun by the Romans. The city, while under Roman rule, was called Juliomagus.

The Council of Angers was held here in 453.

The city suffered severely from the invasions of the Vikings (in 845 and succeeding years)

Angers was once the capital of the historic province of Anjoumarker. Beginning in the ninth century, the region was controlled by a powerful family of feudal lords. It is the cradle of the House of Plantagenet who ruled England from the twelfth century and gave name to the Angevin Kings of Englandmarker. During this time the Hospital of Saint-Jean was built in Angers by King Henry II of England. The edifice still stands to this day, now housing an important museum. In 1204 Angers was conquered by King Philippe II.

The Huguenots took it in 1585, and the Vendean royalists were defeated nearby in 1793 during the siege of Angers. Until the French Revolution Angers was the seat of a celebrated university founded in the 14th century.

Main sights

The site of a massive and ancient châteaumarker, the city is also noted for the impressive twin spires of the twelfth century Cathedral of Saint-Mauricemarker. Other noteworthy churches around Angers include St. Serge, an abbey-church of the 12th and 15th centuries, and the twelfth century La Trinité Cathedral.

The elaborately sculptured eleventh and twelfth century arcades of the famous abbey of Saint Aubin survive in the courtyard of the Prefecture and Hotel . The tower of the abbey church has also survived nearby

Ruins of the old churches of Toussaint (thirteenth century) and Notre-Dame du Ronceray (eleventh century) are also nearby. The ancient hospital of St. Jean (twelfth century) is occupied by Jean Lurcat's tapestries. The Logis Barrault, a mansion built in 1486-92, houses the Musee des Beaux-Arts, which has a large collection of paintings and sculptures. In 1984 the former abbey church of Toussaint became the Musee David d'Angers consisting of works by the sculptor David d'Angers, who was a native of the town. In the middle of a main boulevard near the museum stands his bronze statue of René of Anjou, who was born in the chateau of Angers.

The Hôtel de Pincé or d'Anjou (1523-1530) is the finest of the stone mansions of Angers. There are also many curious wooden houses of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Palais de Justice, the Catholic Institute, a fine theatre, and a hospital with 1500 beds are the more remarkable of the modern buildings of the town. Angers is the seat of a bishopric, dating from the third century; a prefecture; a court of appeal; and a court of assizes (criminal courts). It has a tribunal of first instance, a tribunal of commerce, a board of trade-arbitrators, a chamber of commerce, a branch of the Bank of Francemarker, and several learned societies.

Economy

The early prosperity of the town is largely due to the nearby quarries of slate, whose abundant use for the roofs of Angers led to the city's nickname, the "Black City" (or "La ville noire", in French). Other industries (noted in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica) included the distillation of liqueurs from fruit (the orange liqueur Cointreau is only distilled in the town of Angers and in the surrounding area of St. Barthélemy d'Anjou); cable, rope, and thread-making; the manufacture of boots, shoes, umbrellas, and parasols; weaving of sail-cloth and fabrics; machine construction; wire-drawing; and the manufacture of sparkling wines and preserved fruits. The chief articles of commerce, besides slate and manufactured goods, were hemp, early vegetables, fruit, flowers, and live-stock.

Many of these industries in 1911 have since disappeared. Nowadays industry consists of manufacturing lorries (Scaniamarker) and computers (Bull, Packard-Bell, NEC) as well as research in horticulture and biotechnologies.

Transport

Angers on the banks of the Maine
Angers is connected by Motorway A11 to Parismarker (c. 295 km) and to Nantesmarker (c. 90 km). A TGV railways line goes from Angers-St Laud station to Parismarker in some 1h35. The nearest airport is the Angers - Loire Airportmarker.

In 1850 a catastrophic failure of the Angers Bridgemarker caused the deaths of over 250 soldiers. It inhibited the construction of suspension bridges for many years in France.

Culture

Angers has an orchestra, ONPL (Orchestre Nationale des Pays de la Loire), shared with Nantes, a local theatre NTA (Nouveau Théatre d'Angers) and a dance school CNDC (Centre National de Danse Contemporaine).

Angers has a few important museums on the national level:
  • "Musée des Beaux Arts" (Art & Sculpture, the permanent collections: 14th to the present) has just reopened, after five years of work.
  • "Galerie David d'Angers", which is consecrated to the 19th century sculptor David d'Angers.
  • "Musée Pincé", which holds a collection of Classical art, as well as Egyptian, Etruscan, Japanese and Chinese.
  • "Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie contemporaine", is a tapestry museum. The famous tapestry series "Le chant du Monde" by Jean Lurçat is in the ancient Hôpital St-Jean, the oldest hospital in France, while another modern building holds the contemporary collections, and also other works by Jean Lurçat.
  • The tapestries "of the Apocalypse", originally made for Louis I d'Anjou in the fourteenth century, are today in the Château d'Angers after their restoration.
  • Muséum d’histoire naturelle d’Angersmarker is an important natural history museum in the "Hôtel Demarie-Valentin", dating from 1521.


Angers is an important center for tapestries, especially contemporary tapestry.

It calls itself the "most flowered city in Europe", and its displays of live and cut flowers are stunning. The city's Jardin des Plantes d'Angersmarker and Jardin botanique de la Faculté de Pharmacie d'Angersmarker are a historic botanical gardens, and its Arboretum Gaston Allardmarker is a major arboretum. It is also well-known for being the seat of important cultural events, such as the film festival Premiers Plans, Tour de Scènes (free concerts in the streets) and Les Accroche-Coeurs (free street festival).

Sport

Angers has many sport teams playing at top levels:
  • Angers SCO is Angers's football team. The club was created in 1919. In 2007, Angers SCO is playing in the Ligue 2 (second division) league.
  • Les Ducs d'Angers is Angers's ice hockey team. The club is playing in the Magnus League (first division).
  • Anjou BC is Angers's basketball team, playing in second division.
  • Angers acts as home to the Angers Aviron Nautique (In French), a rowing club which actively competes in regattas across France


Colleges and universities

A centre of learning, Angers boasts two renowned universities and several specialized institutions, altogether responsible for more than 40,000 students. The city is host of L'Université Catholique de l'Ouest (UCO), one of five Catholic universities in France and a state university Université d'Angersmarker .

Angers's other educational institutions include lycées; training colleges, an engineering school in manufacturing (ENSAM), an engineering school in electronics and computer science (ESEO), and a school of fine art. Its education and research institutes are the driving force behind the city's science and technology industries.

Angers's Business School is ESSCA (Ecole Superieure des Sciences Commerciales d'Angers). Formerly part of the UCO, the school's program is of a duration of five years. ESSCA is one of the best business schools in France, recruiting students after the Baccalaureat.

In addition to French schools and universities, an American university St. Edward's Universitymarker has new expanding campus in Angers. St. Edward’s University is a diverse, Catholic liberal arts institution from Austin, TXmarker. The university has a partnership with UCO, and offers a variety of courses of undergraduate level and professional training.

Miscellaneous

Births

The city is the birthplace of:

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Angers is twinned with:=

References



Notes

External links




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