Combrée / Anjou
In the heart of the blue Anjou, the land of slate.
Blue Anjou is a vast territory stretching from the borders of Brittany to the rivers of the Sarthe and Mayenne, whose name is derived from the blue of the slate, the sky and the rivers.
Located in the north-western quarter of the Maine et Loire department, this territory, bordered by Nantes, Rennes, Tours, Le Mans and Angers, has known iron and slate mining.
Today, there are still a few witnesses to this bygone era, including the blue mine in Segré, a unique site in Europe that we can highly recommend for discovering the world of slate 125 metres underground https://www.laminebleue.com/
Between nature activities, walks and hikes, on foot or by bike, and cultural visits to a remarkable architectural heritage made up of numerous castles (including the Château de Pignerolle, the Château du Plessis-Macé and, of course, the Château d'Angers...), churches, manor houses and other mills, you will see that staying at the Auberge de l'Ombrée in Combrée, you will not be bored!
Segré and the Blue Mine
In the heart of the old town of Segré, you will discover the feudal mound from which you have a magnificent view upon the town and the river. You will go down a shale staircase and a few alleys to the medieval street where a half-timbered house from the 16th century still stands.
A history to pass on, an adventure to share...
Castles in Anjou
CHATEAU DE PIGNEROLLE :
In the middle of a superb 76 hectare park and garden (open to visitors), the Château de Pignerolle is a beautiful 18th century residence, a replica of the Petit Trianon in Versailles, built by Bardoul de la Bigottière, a pupil of Gabriel
CHATEAU DU PLESSIS -MACE :
The fortress of Plessis-Macé, built of black schist stone in the 13th century, was transformed in the 15th century into a splendid leisure residence. The whole complex is built in a flamboyant gothic style.
CHATEAU D'ANGERS :
Built in the 13th century, the fortress includes 17 towers of schist and tufa stone and overlooks the Maine River which serves as a natural defence. Residence of the Dukes of Anjou in the 14th and 15th centuries, it was then adorned with buildings and gardens, where a menagerie took place during the time of King René.
Anjou, towns and estates of character
To visit this village on the banks of the Loire is to discover hillsides planted with vines since Roman times, to see numerous 18th and 19th century houses surrounded by parks and schist walls...
CHATEAU DES VAULTS - DOMAINE DU CLOSEL :
The château des Vaults is a living testimony of the evolution of the wine-producing property in the region: a vineyard master's house, of sober 17th century architecture, it was embellished by the 1st empire's money, then enlarged by a drawing room and enclosed in an English-style agricultural park, according to the late 19th century's fashion.
CHATEAU GONTIER :
A town in the Haut-Anjou region, crossed by the Mayenne river, Château-Gontier Bazouges has 11,702 inhabitants and is located in the centre of the Communauté de Communes du Pays de Château-Gontier.
Le Lion d'Angers, a horse town
Le Lion d'Angers is first and foremost an area where two charming rivers - the Oudon and the Mayenne - meet.
At the confluence of these two rivers, on one side lies the Isle-Briand, a 160-hectare green setting, home to world-renowned equestrian activities thanks to the national stud farm and the racecourse.
Chateaubriant, a medieval town
From the Romanesque church to the fortified castle, the town of Chateaubriant was built little by little. The town centre has kept the contours of the ramparts of the walled city and it is pleasant to stroll through the small streets full of flowers and shops.
Some old houses are still visible and a history is attached to many points of the town: the Hôtel de la Houssaye (MH), the Maison de l'Ange (MH), La Porte Neuve, the Tour du Four Banal.
Angers, between Nantes and Le Mans
The historic capital of Anjou and capital of the department of Maine-et-Loire, Angers is located in the centre of the Pays de la Loire region, halfway between the region's two other major cities, Nantes and Le Mans.
From its contact between the Armorican Massif and the Parisian Basin, on the banks of the Maine, it draws its double image: a dark city with schist walls and slate roofs, but also a white city adorned with the tufa stones of the Loire.
JARDIN DES PLANTES :
Created at the end of the 18th century as a botanical garden, it was entirely redesigned in 1904-1905 by the landscape architect Edouard André. A landscaped garden, pleasantly shaded in summer, it offers a beautiful collection of hundred-year-old trees.
CATHEDRALE SAINT MAURICE :
The Cathedral of St Maurice, started in the middle of the 12th century and finished around 1250, is the first building to present the characteristics of the Angevin Gothic style: curved vaults with ogives, initially massive in the nave, then giving way to fine ribs in the transept and the choir. The cathedral also has a fine collection of stained glass windows from the 12th, 13th and 15th centuries.
Museums in Angers
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS:
Located since 1796 in the 15th century Barrault mansion, a jewel of Gothic civil architecture, the Museum of Fine Arts reopened its doors in 2004 after five years of renovation and extension work.
JEAN LURCAT MUSEUM :
The exhibition brings together works that set textile art in history. The display, divided into two locations, follows the thread of tapestry from the 1950s to the most contemporary approaches. The Hôpital Saint-Jean, a remarkable 12th century architectural ensemble, has housed Jean Lurçat's "Le Chant du Monde" (1957-1966) since 1967, in the former patients' ward.
Built on both sides of the Loire, Saumur is a very pleasant town to visit.
The first sight of Saumur, when you arrive from either side, is the dominating castle. The town also extends over an island: the Ile d'Offard.
Built on the Valley of the Kings and classified in 2000 as a "World Heritage Site", you can visit the Château de Saumur and admire its numerous collections.
You can also discover the numerous cellars of Saumur renowned for their brut and spirituous wines and take part in tastings: Cave Ackermann, Cave Veuve Amiot, Maison Langlois Château...