The plants of Château d'Angers

Castle of Angers

Plants are present everywhere at the Château d'Angers, as they are across Anjou. They appear in the numerous gardens that conceal the fortress, but also in the collections of tapestries on the walls.

The moat gardens
From the outside, the gardens give a taster of the plant presence at the castle. The broderies anglaises were created in 1912.
The other side of the wall...
A general view of the main garden that reflects the spirit of a Renaissance garden, built around the architecture. The southern slope, created in the 16th Century to adapt the castle to artillery, is now covered by a wooded area which gives the impression of walking through a forest. Currently, a number of shrubs are displayed which are a nod to the Plantagenet dynasty.

The main garden with the chapel and mill tower in the background.

The gardens at Château d'Angers are part of a sustainable development approach.

Avenue of lime trees pruned into cats' heads, creating a path towards the gatehouse.

The main garden with the gatehouse in the background. The main garden is made up of squares of lawn, box tree borders and yews pruned to create a tunnel.

The yews of the main garden, in the form of a tunnel, create viewpoints and pathways that lead to the Governor's house.

Chapel esplanade, with the castles rose collections in the background. Since 2014, the castle has worked with companies from the Végépolys centers to make scheduled changes to the gardens.

The gates of the Governor's house from the main garden.

The topiaries of the Governor's house. The art of topiary comprises pruning trees and shrubs for decorative purposes to form hedges, borders, or objects in various shapes.

A well, topiary and rose bush near the Governor's house. Students and teachers of the Le Fresne high school participate in school projects, planting and maintaining the castles gardens.

On the ramparts…
Along the ramparts are the vegetable garden, the glasshouses, vines, and hanging gardens, with herbs and plants used to make dyes.

These scaled glass panels cover the glasshouses from the vegetable garden to the castle's north curtain wall.

This flowerbed, on the north curtain wall, near to the glasshouse, is surrounded by a plessis - a fence made of interwoven branches. This garden was created in collaboration with la Ferme de Ste Marthe, Falénor/Terreaux and the Clos des arbres.

On the north curtain wall, rows of vines (Chenin Blanc grape variety) are maintained by the Vignes en Ville association. They mimic the vineyards of king René, located near their Angevin mansions.

The hanging garden is made up of geometric flowerbeds with medicinal and aromatic species, planted in collaboration with ITEIPMAI of Chemillé-Melay (49).

Plants in the Apocalypse Tapestry
This tapestry, made in the late 14th Century, is over 100m long and 4.50m high. Plants and their symbolic language (sacred or common) are present everywhere. The dye plants gave it its colors (madder for the red, broom for the yellow, pastel for the blue...) From the third piece, the bottoms are decorated with plant motifs. As well as this, most of the scenes and the lower band contain many trees, plants, or flowers.

Flowered shrub. In most instances, the plants have an aesthetic and symbolic value. However, some are difficult to identify...such as this one: a Fraxinelle? Photo on the reverse.

Under the horse's hooves, a flowerbed rich in plants: mushrooms, mullein, flowers, herbs...this abundance seems paradoxical in a scene which depicts famine.

A shrub recreated in meticulous detail, showing the rows of square seeds. Photo on the reverse.

In depicting this oak tree, the weavers have played with the colors of the leaves to individualize them and create volume. Photo on the reverse.

Strange depiction of tree roots: they are exposed, as if above-ground. Photo on the reverse.

Rose with flower buds. Several can be found on the tapestry. Photo on the reverse.

Judée's tree with sheets in the shape of coins. Photo on the reverse.

Highly stylized herbaceous plants. You can see that the weaver's technique particularly clearly. Photo on the reverse.

The coat of arms of Anjou, lily seedlings with a red border Photo on the reverse.

A "miniature" tree on the ground. Note that on the tapestry small trees are normal trees, not shrubs (even less so Bonsai!) Photo on the reverse.

Flower bed with flowers of all different colors and leaf shapes. Photo on the reverse.

Two small trees with a completely different appearance. Photo on the reverse.

The only rose with a blossoming flower, located in the strip of land that runs across the bottom of each piece. You can see the seam of a hem. Photo on the reverse.

Holly, easily identifiable thanks to the shape of its leaves and its red berries. Photo on the reverse.

From the third piece, the red or blue background scenes, up to this point plain, is embellished with floral motifs. Photo on the reverse.

Detail of a red background with pink ornamental motif adorned with blue flowers. Photo on the reverse.

Plant sculptures
Plants adorn the base, the keystones, and the friezes of the royal residence of Château d'Angers. These 15th century sculptural elements were restored during the works on the royal residence between 2010 and 2012.

Base decorated with plants, carved with two vine leaves and two bunches of grapes.

This carved base, decorated with plants, shows three leaves and two bunches of grapes.

Detail on the right side of a plant frieze. One figure holds a vine branch that has three leaves and two bunches of grapes.

Carved plant decoration depicting vine leaves and two bunches of grapes.

On this keystone is the French coat of arms, lily seedlings here surrounded by border: this is the coat of arms of Anjou.

Detail of carved plant frieze. On the right side, a tremendous animal devouring a hop (?) branch. Finely indented.

This corner base shows carved leaves.

This corner base shows a large acanthus leaf, an often used decorative plant motif.

This base contains Savoy cabbage leaves. This decoration was often used in the late Middle Ages.

Château d'Angers
Credits: Story

This virtual exhibition has been put together by teams from the Centre des monuments nationaux, with the help of teams from the Château d'Angers, the support of teams from the images unit and coordination by the digital unit.

The images were taken from Regards - Banque d’images des monuments © Centre des monuments nationaux.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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