MAY 10,2017 - MAY 10,2017 (1 DAYS)
Angers - Day 2:
Main Attractions: La Maison Bleu, Place du Ralliement, Maison d'Adam, Place Sainte-Croix, Rue Saint-Aubin, Place Saint-Éloi, Musée des Beaux-Arts, jardin du Mail, Pont de Verdun, La Doutre, Jean Turc Promenade.
Start & End: Gare d'Angers Saint-Laud. Our Hotel: Hotel ibis Styles Angers Centre Gare. Duration: 1 day. Distance: 7 km. Weather: No rain or wind.
Our 2nd day in Angers: From Gare Angers St Laud, 1 Esplanade de la Gare we head west and turn right onto Espl. de la Gare, 45 m. Turn RIGHT (north-east) onto Avenue Denis Papin and go through 1 roundabout, 220 m. Continue straight onto Rue du Haras, 120 m. Continue onto Boulevard du Maréchal Foch, 450 m. In the crossroads with Rue d'Alsace (the 5th road to the left) - stands the Blue House (La Maison Bleu), 25 rue d'Alsace and 10 boulevard Maréchal-Foch. At the corner of rue d'Alsace and boulevard Foch, the building with blue and gold highlights is one of the masterpieces of Art Deco between the two wars. The Blue House is an Art Deco apartment building built in 1929 as a result of the significant demographic growth experienced by Angers in the early 20th century. Built by the architect Roger Jusserand and decorated by the mosaicist Isidore Odorico. This was the first building with elevator in the city. One of the buildings with the largest facade, in the world, covered with mosaic in the Art Deco style. From the ground floor to the upper floors, the color changes from a beige ocher united to an ultramarine blue:
The interior of the building is also covered with mosaic floor-to-ceiling through the walls and stairs with dominating blue , green and gold . All the rooms in the building are ornamented with mosaics, like parrots frescoes in the bathrooms and navy blue entrance halls . The elevator cages and the railings of the stairs and balcony are wrought iron with bright geometric shapes with cutaway characteristic of the Art Deco style:
From the Blue House we head northwest and continue along Rue d'Alsace
for approx. 200 m. The Galeries Lafayette Angers, 6 Rue d'Alsace is on our left. Go up to the top floor to see a splendid view of Place du Ralliement:
The medieval city center was redeveloped and expanded from 1791. The Place du Ralliement, the main square, was then built in place of three churches destroyed during the French Revolution and, later, ring boulevards planted with trees replaced the city walls. The architectural style used is mainly Haussmanian, but leaves sometimes room for Palladian, Art Nouveau or Art Deco buildings. Place du Ralliement is also the place chosen to place the guillotine (1792-17930. Place du Ralliement is the commercial heart of downtown Angers. It hosts major stores including Galeries Lafayette. The Place du Ralliement is, since 2010, is pedestrian-only and accessible only to Line A of the tramway which crosses the square with the Ralliement station:
The Grand Théâtre d 'Angers , in Place du Ralliement, is a theater built in 1794 in the old Grandes Ecoles of the Place du Ralliement 2 , and opened in September 1795. On the night of December 4 to 5, 1865 , a fire destroyed the building. The municipality decided to rebuild it, which began in 1867 under the leadership of Alphonse Botrel, succeeded by Auguste Magne. The new building was inaugurated in 1871:
The famous Allard Pâtissier Chocolatier, Place du Ralliement. 2 rue Chaussée St Pierre:
From the delicatessen shop of Allard Patissier Chocolatier, 2 Rue Chaussée St Pierre we head southwest on Rue Chaussée St Pierre toward Rue Plantagenêt, 60 m. Turn right at Carrefour Rameau onto Rue de l'Aiguillerie, 60 m. Note in R. de l'Aiguillerie, this old building:
Turn left onto Rue Montault, 75 m. Turn left onto Place Sainte-Croix and Maison d'Adam or Adam House (House of artisans), 1 Place Sainte-Croix is on your left. Thisa half-timbered house is located at the crossroads of Montault street and Sainte-Croix square , just behind the cathedral. It is a medieval house, built in year 1491, with some incredible and ornate carvings and timber framings built in the13th century and is decorated with numerous sculptures. The building consists of a ground floor surmounted by three floors, plus two floors of attic, totally of six levels. If you are looking for the reason for the house's name - the original figures of Adam and Eve are missing but only the tree remains on the bottom floor on the corner. Duringt the French Revolution, the revolutionaries destroyed the figures of Adam and Eve with the serpent, leaving only the apple tree carving . From 1990, the house houses the House of Artisans d'Angers (see below). Even Just watching this house from outside is very nice. The façade is beautifully decorated with wooden sculptures:
Tree of Life:
Couple of Lovers:
There is a very interesting gallery at street level with all kinds of locally created designs (scarves, jewelry, tapestry, sculpture, glass work, etc.). Artworks and unusual gifts fill the shop - to the delight of the herds of tourists who fill this splendid shop. Do not miss the original, inspirational art on display. Incredible, exceptional shop. You can purchase online: http://www.maison-artisans.com/index.php?lang=en:
The little square outside, Place Sainte-Croix, makes it possible to take good pictures:
From Place Sainte-Croix continue waking southwest toward Rue Corneille (turning left) for 90 m. Slight right onto Rue Voltaire (one of the most beautiful street of the city with its buildings with the Haussmanian architecture), 55 m. Turn left onto Rue Saint Aubin. Rue Saint-Aubin is the longest shopping street in Angers. It is one of the five main pedestrian streets of the city center with the rue d'Alsace (see above) , rue Lenepveu , rue de la Roë and rue Saint-Laud (see Angers - Day 1):
In the crossroads where Rue Saint-Aubin meets Rue des Lices - we see Benoit Chocolates, 1 Rue des Lices. Hand made chocolates made from cocoa beans that are imported from Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela. You can find, here, a huge range, more than 70 varieties, from deliciously sweet to very bitter chocolates:
We advance, slowly, to the Musée des Beaux-Arts. From Benoit chocolate we head BACK northeast on Rue des Lices toward Rue Saint-Aubin, 10 m. We turn left onto Rue Saint-Aubin, 30 m. Turn left onto Rue du Musée, 50 m. Turn RIGHT onto Place Saint-Éloi - a VERY PRETTY square with the spires of Saint Maurice Cathedral (north side in the background) , a famous sculpture and an abbey around. Galerie David d'Angers and Musée des Beaux-Arts are on the west (left). This square is one of the most beautiful places in downtown Angers. Closed by the Museum of Fine Arts, the Café des Orfèvres, the Municipal Institute, the Saint Aubin Abbey/Tower and centuries-old houses, it hosts in its center a magnificent sculpture depicting a woman's face. The tufa of the surrounding buildings forms a marvelous setting for this jewel of sculpture. The statue, "Per Adriano", is an unfinished portrait of the French-Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj:
The Saint-Aubin Abbey of Angers:
Statue Per Adriano ( For Hadrian ), work of the wonderful sculptor Igor Mitoraj:
Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts) : Angers calls itself the "City of History and Art," and the Musee des Beaux Arts is one of the jewels in the crown. The collection does not include any major works. BUT it does include 18th-century masterpieces by French painters, such as Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard and Chardin and 19th-century works of Sisley, Corot, and Ingres. The largest collection is by a 19th century painter born in Angers, Guillaume Bodinier. The whole layout is confusing (labels and descriptions only in French). A temporary gallery focuses on contemporary artists and heritage exhibitions. The “Parcours Histoire d’Angers” is a trail that ushers you through the collections from Angers’ former museum of antiquities, with portraits of the historical personalities and landscapes of Angers through the ages to convey the development of the city. Then the “Parcours Beaux Arts” shows the Flemish, Italian and French school paintings that once enriched the homes of the city’s elite. The building
is an old private mansion, known as the ‘Logis Barrault’. This listed Historic Monument was built between 1486 and 1493. Throughout the ages, this dwelling has received several prestigious guests including Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne, César Borgia and Marie de’ Medici. Opening hours: everyday - 10.00 - 18.00. Prices: 4 euros. combined entry with the MUSÉE JEAN-LURÇAT ET DE LA TAPISSERIE CONTEMPORAINE: 6 €:
La déclaration attendue, Jean-Antoine Watteau:
Cephalus and Procris, Jean-Honoré Fragonard,1755:
San Marino près de Rome, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, 1826:
"Jeunes Baigneurs sur un Rocher à Capri", Guillaume Bodinier,1828:
The gardens of the Musée des Beaux-Arts originally belonged to the Saint-Aubin abbey, built c. 534 AD. Part of these gardens was given up to the canons of the Toussaint abbey church (dating from the 13th century) in 1419. In 1422, Saint-Aubin sold the north part of the garden which would become from 1495 onwards, the garden of the Barrault private mansion. This is now the museum terrace. In 1834, a fruit garden was planted in the former garden of the Barrault private mansion and the Toussaint abbey church. This ‘fruit school’ contained 1,700 varieties of fruit and sought to improve knowledge of, and teaching about the cultivation of fruit. In 1850, the Doyenné du Comice pear was first grown here. This variety is still considered to be the best pear in the world. Later, the garden became known as the Jardin des Beaux-Arts. From the 1920s an ornamental garden had been established around the museum - decorated with flowerbeds and statues, shaded by trees and rare shrubbery donated by nurseries in the Anjou region. Garden opening hours: everyday 08.00 - 20.00:
We continue to stroll around the old city of Angers, returning, sometimes, to sites - visited in our Day 1 in Angers. We head, now to Logis Pincé or Musée Pincé, 32 Rue Lenepveu. From the Beaux-Arts Gardens we head northeast, 35 m. We slight left toward Rue Toussaint, 60 m. Turn right toward Rue Toussaint, 50 m. Turn right onto Rue Toussaint, 160 m. Continue, again, onto Place Sainte-Croix, 130 m. Look for Carrefour Rameau and continue onto Rue Chaussée St Pierre, 25 m. Slight left to stay on Rue Chaussée St Pierre, 70 m. Continue straight onto Place du Ralliement, 35 m. Continue onto Rue Lenepveu and Hotel/Logis/Musée Pincé is 35 m. further on your left (32 Rue Lenepveu). On your right - a giant store of FNAC. The Logis Pincé is a Renaissance building built between 1525 and 1535 , by the Renaissance architect Jean Delespine from Angers at the request of its owner Jean de Pincé , mayor of Angers. This mansion has been classified as a historic monument since 1875. In 1861 , the painter Angevin Guillaume Bodinier gave the house to the city of Angers to create a museum. In 1889 , the museum was opened to the public. it is devoted to Greek , Roman , Etruscan and Egyptian antiquities, as well as Chinese and Japanese art. The museum is currently closed for construction works.
From the closed Musée Pincé, 32 Rue Lenepveu we retrace southwest on Rue Lenepveu toward Place du Ralliement, 35 m. Turn left onto Place du Ralliement, 85 m. Turn left onto Rue Saint-Maurille, 130 m. In the intersection of Place du Ralliement and Rue Saint-Maurille - you see Residence Gmim and this sculpture:
Turn right onto Rue David d'Angers, 110 m. Turn left onto Impasse de la Mairie, 80 m. Turn left onto Boulevard Résistance et Déportation, 45 m. Turn right toward Boulevard Résistance et Déportation, 15 m and you face the Le jardin du Mail, Boulevard Résistance et Déportation. We took our lunch at the Black Peat, 2 Boulevard du Maréchal Foch restaurant. Menu de Jour + Dessert: 12.90 euros/person. It advertises itself as a Scottish bar. So, you can drink beer, eat burgers and enjoy, "Au plaisir", a whisky bar in the heart of Angers. The upper floor is more pleasant than the ground one (a bit dark). It is opposite the Mail gardens. The Mail Garden is a park which was constructed around the 17th century, the " game of mail ". Marie de Medici and the Bishop of Luçon (future cardinal Richelieu ) played in this garden. In the middle of the 17th century - the garden had been abandoned. It became a walk as it is today under the name of Avenue Jeanne d'Arc. The flowering, every year, consists of 20,000 to 30,000 flowers in massifs with perfect symmetry. The bandstand, a fountain and the statues contribute to the life of these gardens. BUT, this is a park WITHOUT TREES !
In the east side of the gardens - Palais de Justice:
We exit the gardens from the western entrance. We walk, now, 1.2 km. back to the Maine river. From 2 Boulevard du Maréchal Foch we head northeast on Boulevard du Maréchal Foch toward Rue David d'Angers, 15 m. Continue onto Boulevard Résistance et Déportation, 150 m. Turn left onto Rue du Mail (a bustling road) and walk down 450 m. Turn left onto Rue de la Parcheminerie, 15 m. Turn right to stay on Rue de la Parcheminerie, 280 m. Continue onto Rue de la Poissonnerie, 70 m. Turn right toward Rue Baudrière, 40 m. Turn left toward Rue Baudrière, 95 m. Turn right onto Rue Baudrière, 40 m. Continue onto Pont de Verdun, 35 m. The Verdun Bridge connects the city center to the district of La Doutre. It does NOT commemorate the Battle of Verdun in 1916. It is renamed "Verdun Bridge" with the erection of the statue of Lieutenant-Colonel Beaurepaire , officer of the French army, who died in 1792 in Verdun during the surrender of this city against the Prussians:
La Doutre, an old quarter located on the western bank of the Maine and facing the castle, contains two major medieval sites, the former Abbaye du Ronceray, built during the 11th and 12th century, and the Hôpital Saint-Jean, founded by Henry II of England and used as the city hospital until 1870. La Doutre is a clutter of streets and alleys, many with covered passageways and lined with timber-framed houses. All you have to do is take Rue Beaurepaire from the bridge and let yourself be drawn down the side streets. Place de la Laiterie has a real village-like feel in what is still the centre of the city, while Place du Tertre Saint-Laurent is where the 19th-century bourgeoisie settled, and all the adjoining streets have refined stone mansions. With its avenue of giant plane trees Quai Monge is as grand as it gets, and belongs to the Berges de Maine, a 300 hectare public space by the River.
We retrace our steps and return to Pont de Verdun on the Maine river. We head southward to the famous Angers Castle. From Pont de Verdun head southeast toward Quai René Bazin, 35 m. We see, opposite us, the stairs leading to the Saint Maurice Cathedral:
Continue onto Rue Baudrière, 75 m. Turn right onto Prom. Jean Turc, 20 m. Slight right (and, later, turn right) to stay on Prom. Jean Turc, 70 m. Slight left to stay on Prom. Jean Turc, 25 m. Slight right to stay on Prom. Jean Turc, 10 m. Turn left to stay on Prom. Jean Turc, 120 m. On our left the mighty walls of Château d'Angers:
Jean Turc Promenade, formerly known as the "Quai Ligny Walk" is the Maine riverbank road. In purpose to clear the Château de Angers surroundings, the city in the 1970s decided to demolish the buildings along the Ligny wharf. It left a wide strip of land at the base of the castle. A long and wide island of greenery, lines of trees were planted in the middle of this island and extending up to the Boulevard De Gaulle. In 1981, the gardens were extended to the bridge of Verdun. A pleasant rose garden, with a regular outline, is planted with its pergola covering the central path, a vast construction of metal arches, however well proportioned to the imposing mass of the rock which dominates it. But a few years are needed to get an interesting cover of roses and honeysuckle. At the bottom of the Saint-Maurice climbing stairs, a large pond was built with its water games covering the traffic noise.
These gardens, very pleasant walk at any time, form today a magnificent set of greenery, lying under the giant walls of the Castle:
It is a 750 m. walk back to Angers railway station from the intersection of Prom.. Jean Turc and Boulevard du Général de Gaulle. Head southeast on Boulevard du Général de Gaulle, 210 m. Slight right to stay on Boulevard du Général de Gaulle, 45 m. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Place de l'Académie, 100 m. Turn left to stay on Place de l'Académie, 15 m. Continue onto Rue Hoche, 160 m. Continue straight onto Place de la Visitation, 20 m. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Rue de la Gare, 130 m. Turn left onto Place de la Gare, 45 m. Slight left onto Espl. de la Gare, 30 m. to see the Gare Angers St Laud.