DSCN2096The Chateau d’Angers. The site was occupied by the Counts of Anjou in the 9th century and a palace was built there in the 12th century for the powerful Plantagenet dynasty, thus becoming the home of Geoffrey of Anjou and also (when he was not in England) Henry II. It was then turned into a fortress in the 13th c and altered in other ways through the years, so this is the form in which you see it now.  The castle now houses the most incredible Apocalypse tapestry, the oldest to survive apart from the Bayeux tapestry. It was commissioned by Louis I, Duke of Anjou in 1375 and took 7 years to complete – and it’s colossal. It’s 100m long but was originally 133m – bits of it are missing after it was cut into pieces and used for any old purpose – and it’s 6 m high. Most of it was found and it was all put together and restored in the 19th c. It illustrates the Apocalypse according to St John and it is absolutely extraordinary: vivid scenes of hell and damnation, judgment and resurrection amongst other things.DSCN2118DSCN2126 It is here that Marie de France has her first meeting with Eleanor of Aquitaine (in my book anyway.  Although I’m still in two minds as to whether it should be at Poitiers instead!)

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