The Origins of Tapestry (See It Now!)
Favorite thing: Wall hangings in tents("double-layering") must have been discovered in prehistoric times as a way to diminish cold (and heat?), prevent wind entry and diminish dust. At first hides and other animal skin products were used; woven materials were rare. The quality of the pelts and hanging objects gave rise to interior decoration and indicated wealth and power. Cloth (woven fibers) is found in Egypt in 2000 BC, but tapestry weaving first appears in China in 400AD and spread slowly through Japan, Persia and Turkey, reaching the West in 1000 AD. At that time it was mostly woolen and silk rugs. The first Art Tapestries were in the early 1300's as personal heraldic designs and patterns (like the Oriental Rugs). Entrepreneurship rapidly expanded the output after 1350, and the Valois family who competed with each other as great Art patrons, encouraged pictorial tapestry. At that time painting was on manuscripts (small) and on wood or walls (not very portable). Nicolas Bataille became very adept at supplying their needs and soon their halls were decorated with portable tapestries. The earliest tapestry series still exissting is here in Angers, the Apocalypse. A few of another series of the same period and workshops are in the Cloisters, N.Y.C. Prior to that there are a few embroidered wall hangings, like the 11C embroidery called the "Bayeux Tapestry" in that city. Tapestry work spread rapidly through North Germany and around Flanders (Arras, Tournai and Brussels).
Fondest memory: At the beginning of the 1500's the Mille-fleurs (thousand flowers) background pattern became popular and it remains so today as seen in this tapestry which probably belongs to the Manorial Life series at the Cluny Museum in Paris (See our Cluny Tips). Two other mille-fleurs series involving aUnicorn are the most popular in the World (at the Cluny and the Cloisters). There is another series in the Chateau called the "Passion Tapestries", see them too. There are more tapestries in the Chateau and the Cathedral and 20C tapestries in the Musee Lurcat across the river in the Hospital of St. John.
- Family Travel
Office du Tourisme
Favorite thing: This office is directly across the square from the chateau d'Angers and directly adjacent to the Maison du Vin. For all of your tourist needs go here. Cash traveler's checks, get maps and other information. They are very cordial here and speak English (of course).
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Study Abroad
Domaine de Pignerolle
Favorite thing: At the heart of the Domaine de Pignerolle, u will find the Chýteau de Pignerolle, a replica of the "Petit trianon" in Versailles.
This listed Historical Monument (18 th century) , it has for the last 10 years housed the Communication Museum.
This museum is very strange...
But in summer it's a funny place with a lot of shows by night ( open-air cinema, visits-shows and french hot air ballon championships...).
That's why I prefer the park: it's a also a listed Historical Monument with its French-style gardens and its surprising bunkers which reflect the important role the Domaine played during World War II.
- Theme Park Trips
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Museum Visits
Get an Angers city map - it's free!
Favorite thing: Angers' street design may be hard to follow without a map.
So, for first-timers without any map, the first place to head is the tourist information office near the old chateau. It's across the street from the chateau at the junction of Place du Président Kennedy & Rue Toussaint. Their number is 02 41 23 50 00.
They will fall over backwards to speak your language of choice and give free stuff to you.
The main part of town, the old town, is bounded by 3 major boulevardes and the river which pretty much form a rectangle around. The hub of the town, Place du Railliement, is smack-dab in the middle of this rectangle.
To get bearings: downhill generally takes you to the river, and the cathedral is a landmark often visible from many places.
Favorite thing: A trompe-l'oeil is a painting that seems real, like this one. You'll find such forms of art all over France.
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