Помимо грандиозного замка-крепости — Château d’ Angers — в Анже можно посмотреть другие достопримечательности:
Наиболее драматичный вид на кафедральный собор Сен-Морис открывается с набережной, откуда длинная лестница ведет к порталу середины 12-го века, на котором изображена еще одна версия Апокалипсиса. Построенный в 1150 — 60-х гг, кафедральный собор Анже представляет из себя образец архитектуры Пнантагенетов — по факту, это, вохможно, первая постройка во Франции в таком стиле, где ключевым является свод, возведенный на уровне обычных стенных арок, создавая эффект купола.
The three aisle-less bays of the nave span a distance of over 16m. The lofty Plantagenet vaulting, known locally as theAngevin style, creates structural strength as well as a faintly Byzantine feel.
The earliest stained glass, in the north wall of the nave, is late twelfth or earlythirteenth-century; the window depicting the Virgin and Child is especiallyfamous for its design and rich colours. In the choir, one window is dedicated toThomas Becket, murdered on the orders of Henry Plantagenet. The fifteenthcenturyrose windows in the transepts are impressive, with Christ’s earthly suffering, in the north transept, facing Christ in Glory to the south – note the red and blue of his robe, inspired by the Tapestry of the Apocalypse. The stone carving on the capitals and the supports for the gallery are beautiful, but the cathedral is over zealously furnished with a grandiose high altar and pulpit and a set of tapestries that can’t compete with Angers’ other woven treasures.
If the river damp is getting into your bones, you could always light a candle to St Maurice, who is traditionally invoked against gout and cramps. His sainthood dates from his captaincy of the largely Christian Theban Legion, which was massacred in the late third century for refusing to sacrifice to the old Roman gods.
The medieval Maison d’Adam, on place Ste-Croix, in front of the cathedral,
sports some wonderful carved characters, including one bearing an alarming
set of genitals. A block northeast, rue de l’Oisellerie is lined with carved,
half-timbered houses that were once bird-shops (oiselleries). The hub of modern
Angers, place du Ralliement, lies a few steps further west. Its main landmark
is the nineteenth-century Théâtre Municipal, which still thrives today.
Angers’ best shopping is to be found on rue Lenepveu, where the chief sight
is the Hôtel Pincé, at no. 32. The facade of this Renaissance mansion positively
crawls with Italianate decoration. It usually houses the Musée Pincé, whose
prize exhibits are some Oriental and Greek ceramics, but the museum is closed
central anjou | Angers
for works – probably until 2009. Some of the exhibits are occasionally displayed
on a temporary basis elsewhere; check at the tourist office if you’re interested.
If the cathedral hasn’t sated your appetite for Angevin vaulting, make for the
église St-Serge, on ave Mairie-Talet, north of the centre (Mon–Sat 9am–7pm,
Sun 2–6pm; free). Formerly part of an abbey – you can visit the chapter room,
cloister and refectory – it is now enclosed within the university grounds. Inside
the church, a superb early Gothic choir rises from the slenderest of columns.
Close by is the verdant and relaxing Jardin des Plantes (8am–dusk; free).
The district facing the château from across the river is known as La Doutre,
from the French d’outre Maine, which simply means “the other side of the
Maine”. Like Paris’s Left Bank, it’s the focus of the city’s student life and has
a relatively relaxed, downbeat feel; similarly, it preserves a few mansions and
houses dating from the medieval period. The riverfront is dominated by the
elite ENSAM, the École Nationale des Arts et Métiers, which hot-houses the
cream of the region’s students.
Abbaye de Ronceray and la Trinité
Facing onto La Doutre’s central square, place de la Laiterie, the Abbaye de
Ronceray was founded by Foulques Nerra in the early eleventh century, but
its ancient buildings are now occupied by one of France’s elite grandes écoles,
training the leading students of aerospace technology. The abbey church hosts
art exhibitions, and it’s worth visiting just to see the Romanesque galleries of
the old abbey.
Inside the twelfth-century église de la Trinité, an exquisite Renaissance
wooden spiral staircase fails to mask a great piece of medieval bodging – the
corner wall is bent around the adjacent abbey. The high vaulting of the nave is
unusual, the ribs of the middle section meeting inside a stone ring offset by a
tiny dome behind, which gives a delightful effect like a suspended spider’s web.
Perhaps the design was too ambitious, as a significant twist in the line of the
roof has developed over the course of the centuries.
Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine
In the north of the area, a short way from the Pont de la Haute-Chaine (about
fifteen minutes’ walk from the château), the Hôpital St-Jean, at 4 boulevard
Arago, was built by Henry Plantagenet in 1174 as a hospital for the poor, a function
it continued to fulfil until 1854. With its airy Angevin vault springing energetically
from two perfect rows of columns, it makes a dramatic setting for the
Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine (June–Sept daily
10am–7pm; Oct–May Tues–Sun 10am–noon & 2–6pm; e4), which contains
the city’s astonishing twentieth-century tapestry, Le Chant du Monde. The
tapestry sequence was designed by Jean Lurçat in 1957 in response to Angers’
Tapestry of the Apocalypse; his own commentary is available in English. It hangs
in a vast vaulted space, the original ward for the sick, or Salle des Malades. The
first four tapestries deal with “La Grande Menace”, the threat of nuclear war:
first the bomb itself; then “Hiroshima Man”, flayed and burnt, with the broken
symbols of various world religions seemingly falling away from him; then the
collective massacre of the “Great Charnel House”; and finally the last dying rose
falling with the post-Holocaust ash through black space – the “End of Everything”.
From then on, the tapestries celebrate the joys of life: “Man in Glory in Peace”, “Water and Fire”, “Champagne” (“that blissful ejaculation”, according
to Lurçat); “Conquest of Space”, “Poetry” and “Sacred Ornaments”. Modern
tapestry is an unfamiliar art, and at first Lurçat’s use of stark, bright colours
on a heavy black ground can be overwhelming – or, to some, uncomfortably
reminiscent of a heavy metal T-shirt. The Romanesque cloisters at the back
are worth a peek.
There are more modern tapestries in the adjoining building, where a significant
collection has been built up around the donation by Lurçat’s widow of
several of his paintings, ceramics and tapestries. Among the most interesting
works are the abstract, almost three-dimensional tapestries of Thomas Gleb,
who died in Angers in 1991. Gleb’s experimentation with depth is developed
by Josep Grau Garriga, whose huge, rough collages, bulging all over with ropeends,
matted straw and old sacks, are exhibited in the next room.
If you want to explore Angers’ contemporary tapestry micro-industry further,
call in at the neighbouring tapestry workshops at 3 boulevard Daviers (Mon–
Fri 10am–noon & 2–4pm), which groups together a number of artists. Even if
there isn’t someone on hand who’s willing to show you around, you should be
able to at least track down information on private exhibitions.