This historic town is situated between La Rochelle and Bordeaux in the Poitou Charente region of South West France. Apart from being a thriving commercial town it is steeped in history around the centre where there are more than two kilometres of the ramparts remaining intact, while the boulevards that follow the walls are wide, open streets with good views across the surrounding countryside.
Heading along the ramparts on the southern side of the centre you will reach the cathedral. The Romanesque Cathedral of Saint Pierre dates back 900 years but has been altered a great deal since. The ornately decorated facade has 70 carvings depicting the story of the Ascension and the Final Judgement and is definitely something the visitor should see. Towards the west is the Chapel of the Cordeliers that was once an important monastic settlement and where you can still see traces of the ancient cloisters. A nice way to finish your tour of the centre of Angouleme is to continue via Place Beaulieu, with its far-reaching views across the town and river, then take a stroll through the extensive park under the ramparts to the west, which also includes various sculptures, water features and an animal park.
Shops, Restaurants & Daily Market
Strolling through the top of the town are many shops along the pedestrian Rue Marengo and Rue Saint-Martial. They hold a variety of different shops and if the boutiques are your thing then they can be found in and around Place du Petit Beaulieu near the Post Office. Les Halles d’Angoulême are just down Rue du General de Gaulle from the Hôtel de Ville where a fresh food market is held most mornings selling local produce, regional cheeses and much more. Just opposite Les Halles you will be spoilt for choice with pavements cafes where you can spend your time ‘people watching’ alongside the French café set. If you want lunch or dinner you will find a wide choice of restaurants on the streets leading from the Place des Halles including Rue Massillon, Rue de Geneve and at Place Francis Louvel.
Angouleme is famous for its numerous and varied festivals and definitely worth a visit.
Comic Strip Festival
Angouleme is most famous for its comic books and every year since 1974, the four-day International Comic Strip Festival is now a key event for professionals and the general public alike. The festival includes a programme of exhibitions, signings and performances in honour of one of the most dynamic and creative forms of expression around today. Whether you are a family visiting, in a group or on your own its a marvel to behold with painted walls in classic French comic book characters such as Titeuf, Natacha, Boule & Bill, and Lucky Luke are just a few of the colourful characters who will surprise and amuse you as you walk around.
Circuit des Remparts - Angouleme's Classic Car race
Every September Angouleme's roads becomes a race track and vintage cars from far and wide come to race in this wonderful race that first took place in 1939. The event starts on the Friday with a big parade of all the contestants, the 'Concours d'Elegance' allowing you the chance to admire up close these classic cars. On the Saturday anyone with a pre-1975 car can take part in the Tourist Rally through the local countryside and then the big race takes part on Sunday. The town residents and visitors sit on top of the ramparts and enjoy the race taking place below. Les Gastronomades Festival
Les Gastronomades festival you'll find all kinds of local products and delicious specialities which takes place over a weekend in November. Taste and learn all about the local products, skills and techniques. For the children there's Ludoland, a festival of games, toys and multimedia. The whole family will have endless fun discovering and testing new games.
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