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Angers

Top French Cities - Angers at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Angers Loire Valley Tourist Office at www.angersloiretourisme.com.

City region:Loire Valley / Pays de la Loire

Population & what they are called: 155,734 inhabitants (2016 census), called Angevins

Access from Paris:

  • by road: about 3 hours (185 miles) via A11 autoroute (L'Océane)

  • by train: about 1 h 30 min by TGV from the Gare Montparnasse, and about 2 h 20 min by direct TGV from Paris CDG airport

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • Herzé Bazin, writer

  • Edouard Cointreau, creator of Cointreau

  • Nicolas Mahut, tennis player

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • The Apocalypse Tapestry on display in the Château d’Angers is the oldest French medieval tapestry to have survived to the present day and the biggest medieval tapestry ensemble in the world.

  • Angers is the largest horticultural center in Europe.

Notable sites:

  • Cité – the historic center of Angers is like a journey back in time

  • Château of Angers – the Loire Valley's largest fortress, which houses the spectacular medieval Apocalypse Tapestry

  • Terra Botanica – the world’s first “edutainment” park to be themed on plants and gardens (terrabotanica.fr/en/)

Top annual events:

  • Balade du roi René – a nocturnal tour in summertime that showcases highlights of the historic center through lights and entertainment (labaladeduroirene.fr)

  • Levitation France – psychedelic rock music festival, formerly the Austin Psych Fest, in reference to its twin city of Austin, Texas (levitation-france.com)

  • Festival Premiers Plans – a film festival for first and second feature films, first short films and student films (premiersplans.org/festival/en/)

Most notable museums:

  • Musée des Beaux-Arts – a fine arts museum also covering the history of Angers (musees.angers.fr/langues-etrangeres/english/musee-des-beaux-arts/the-site/index.html)

  • Jean Lurçat and Contemporary Tapestry Museum – works of textile art from the 1950s to the present displayed in a 12th-century hospital (musees.angers.fr/langues-etrangeres/english/musee-jean-lurcat-et-de-la-tapisserie-contemporaine/the- site/index.html)

  • David d'Angers Gallery – a restored abbey-church showcasing the works of David d’Angers, a 19th-century sculptor (musees.angers.fr/langues-etrangeres/english/galerie-david-d-angers/the-site/index.html)

Culinary specialties:

  • fricassée de poulet à l’angevine – made with chicken, onions, mushrooms, cream and Anjou wine

  • Crémet d'Anjou – a dessert made with a base of whipped fromage blanc or crême fraiche and usually topped with seasonal berries

  • Quernons d'Ardoise – a small square of nougatine (caramelized hazelnuts and almonds) wrapped in blue chocolate

Local wines & spirits:

  • Cointreau – the orange-flavored liqueur produced exclusively in Angers (carre-cointreau.fr)

  • Anjou wines – a diverse and heady choice of dry and sweet whites, rosés and fruity reds are sourced from surrounding vineyards in the third largest wine region in France

  • Menthe-Pastille – a white mint liqueur

Shopping:

  • Slate items – saucers, plates and more made of the local stone

  • Small tapestries – mini versions of the city's famous medieval and contemporary tapestries

Most popular night spots:

  • guinguettes – local, open-air, riverside restaurants like Le Héron Carré

  • Le Cercle Rouge – wine bar with over 300 wines

  • Disco Le Boléro – a great place to go dancing in the busy St-Laud pedestrian zone

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • La Doutre – a quiet residential district where locals go to eat and drink on the Place de la Laiterie

  • Cycling – Angers is located at the crossroad of the three cycle routes, and boasts a scenic Angers loop of the Loire à Vélo route (cycling-loire.com)

  • Wine Routes – follow the scenic wine routes along the Loire river and through small villages

Local industries:

  • Cité for the Internet of Things – with 900 businesses and 7000 workers in the digital and electronics sectors

  • fruit – headquarters of the European Community Plant Variety Office, which encourages innovation in plant varieties; and Pomanjou, an international fruit grower specialized in apple production

In Pop Culture:

  • Viper in the Fist (Vipère au Poing) by Hervé Bazin – a classic novel in France, given to high school students to read
Aix-en-Provence

Top French Cities - Aix-en-Provence at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Aix-en-Provence Tourist Office at www.aixenprovencetourism.com.

City region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Population & what they are called: 145,160 inhabitants (2014 census); Aixois (or, rarely, Aquisextains)

Access from Paris:

  • by road: between 6 h 40 min and 8 h 50 min (470 miles) via A6 and A7 autoroute du Soleil

  • by train: about 3 hours by TGV from the Gare de Lyon

  • by plane: 1h15, landing in Marseille-Provence Airport, then 20 minutes by shuttle

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • Paul Cézanne, painter

  • Hélène Grimaud, concert pianist

  • Thylane Blondeau, top model and actress

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • Aix is known as the city of a thousand fountains.

  • The Fondation Vasarely was established in 1966 by Victor Vasarely himself, leader of the op art movement, who chose Aix-en-Provence given the city’s rich history, artistic and architectural activities, world-renowned festival, exceptional network of motorways and, finally, Vasarely's admiration for Cézanne.

Notable sites:

  • Vieil Aix – the historic old town

  • Cours Mirabeau – the city's most famous grand boulevard, lined by fountains and lofty plane trees, and bordered by fabulous Renaissance mansions

  • Montagne Sainte-Victoire – the nearby mountain that inspired Cézanne and was, in turn, made famous by him

Top annual events:

  • Festival d’Aix-en-Provence – a month-long festival of classical music, opera and dance, celebrating its 70th year in 2018 (festival-aix.com)

  • Festival de Pâques (Easter Festival) – a classical music festival (festivalpaques.com)

  • Les Rencontres du 9e Art – a festival of comics and other innovative graphic and popular arts (bd-aix.com)

Most notable museums:

  • Musée Granet – a showcase of iconic artists associated with Provence, including Picasso and Cézanne (www.museegranet-aixenprovence.fr)

  • Caumont Art Center – rotating exhibitions about the region’s artistic and cultural heritage set in a stunning 18th-century mansion (caumont-centredart.com)

  • Atelier de Cézanne – the former studio of Paul Cézanne

Culinary specialties:

  • Calissons d’Aix – diamond-shaped delights with almonds, sugar, candied melon and orange peel

  • Olive oil – there are 2,000 olive growers in the Aix region

Local wines & spirits:

  • Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence AOC – the second largest Provençal wine appellation whose rosés are considered especially unique

Shopping: * antiques – the best markets are in the Mazarin District and around the Cours Mirabeau

  • artisanal crafts – such as soap, santon (clay figurines), ceramics, mosaics, metal art

Most popular night spots:

  • Les Woods Cardeurs – a student bar with music a large terrace

  • Le Mistral – for anyone in the mood to dance

  • Au Verre Levé – a café with a great selection of organic wines from small producers

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • Montagne Sainte-Victoire – a popular place for outdoor sports (hiking, biking, paragliding, climbing and more)

  • Cours Mirabeau – the most famous of many superb shopping boulevards; also location of Brasserie Les Deux Garçons, the city's most famous café

  • Parc Jourdan – one of the largest parks in the city and a great place to play pétanque

Local industries:

  • cosmetics – several leading firms, such as Esthederm and Daniel Jouvance, lead the charge in scientific research into nutrition, anti-aging, dermatology etc.

  • energy research – Cadarache, a research center of the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, is one of the most important centers for energy research and development in Europe.

In Pop Culture:

  • Cézanne and I (Cézanne et moi) – a 2016 French movie about the friendship between Emile Zola and Paul Cézanne

  • The Horseman on the Roof (Le hussard sur le toit) – an award-winning 1995 movies about an Italian nobleman in France during a time of cholera

  • A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle – the famous book about life in Provence Major 2018 development:

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