Angers Cathedral, Maine-et-Loire visitors guide
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Angers cathedral is one of the principal historic monuments in Angers, in the Maine-et-Loire department of north-west France. It is in the town centre, a short distance east of the castle and at the top of a long flight of stairs that lead down to the river.
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France This Way comment: we don't always show cathedrals as separate attractions in a town, but the cathedral in Angers has a great deal of features of interest so we wanted to make sure you visit the cathedral during your visit!
The cathedral Saint-Maurice in Angers was the first example of the Angevin gothic style (also known as Plantagenet gothic style) to be built in France. It was built during the 12th - 13th centuries, on the base of an even earlier cathedral, so includes some roman style elements in the earliest parts of the structure.
The main facade was added in the 16th century, with the series of statues across the facade and the central tower added first, followed soon after by the two spires. At this time there was also a large and elaborate porch across the front of the cathedral, but this fell into disrepair and was removed in 1806.
The facade with its many carvings is among the most remarkable features of Angers cathedral, in particular the carvings around the entrance and in the row of dignitaries added to the cathedral later.
After pausing to admire the facade you can enter the cathedral. The highlights here include the stained glass windows, which in part date from the 12th century: there are two imposing rose windows in the cathedral. The north rose window shows Christ displaying his wounds to remind visitors that he suffered for Mankind, and the south rose window shows Christ on His throne surrounded by the apostles, representing a renewal of the world.
The main altar with its soaring marble columns is in the baroque style and dates from 1758. The remarkable carving in the wood of the pulpit is another highlight: the pulpit is quite recent, having been added in the 19th century, and is in the neogothic style: the higher part represents the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and the lower part represents Adam, Noah and Abraham and scenes from the Bible.
The cathedral organ is thought to have been installed in the 16th century but has been repaired and renovated many times, in particular the organ was very damaged in 1944 when the town was bombarded, so little that we see today is very old.
There are also various works of art in Angers cathedral, more stained glass windows (both old and new) and a 15th century altarpiece of the crucifixion.
The main historic attraction in the town is the Chateau d'Angers, an interesting castle where you can see the Apocalypse tapestry, and another important religious monument is the Collegiate Church of Saint-Martin. The town of Angers also has a historic centre and a large modern centre with several imposing 19th century buildings.
Map of Angers Cathedral and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Chateau d'Angers: national monument
- Angers: town of art and history
- Île Saint-Aubin: site of natural beauty (4 km)
- Jardins du Pin: remarkable garden (24 km)
- Chenille-Change: ville fleurie 4* (27 km)
- Eglise de Notre Dame (Chenehutte-Treves-Cunault): religious monument (28 km)
- Prieuré de Notre-Dame de Cunault (Chenehutte-Treves-Cunault): religious monument (28 km)
- Aubigne-sur-Layon: ville fleurie 4* (30 km)
- Coudray: ville fleurie 4* (36 km)
- Parc zoologique de Doué-la-Fontaine: zoo or wildlife park (37 km)
- Chateau-Gontier: recommended detour (41 km)
- Saumur: secteur sauvegarde (43 km)
The French version of this page is at Angers Cathedral (Francais)