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Angers (French: [ɑ̃ʒe] ( listen)) is a city in western France, about 300 km (190 mi) southwest of Paris. It is chef-lieu of the Maine-et-Loire department and was the capital of the province of Anjou until the French Revolution. The inhabitants of both the city and the province are called Angevins. Not including the metropolitan area, Angers is the third most populous commune in northwestern France after Nantes and Rennes and the 17th in France.
For centuries, Angers was an important stronghold in northwestern France. It was the cradle of the Plantagenet dynasty and became one of the intellectual centers of Europe during the reign of René of Anjou. Angers developed at the confluence of three rivers, the Mayenne, the Sarthe, and the Loir, all coming from the north and flowing south to the Loire. Their confluence, just north of Angers, creates the Maine, a short but wide river that flows into the Loire several kilometres south. The Angers metropolitan area is a major economic centre in western France, particularly active in industry, horticulture, and tourism.
Angers proper covers 42.70 square kilometers (16.5 sq mi) and has a population of 147,305 inhabitants, while around 394,700 live in its metropolitan area. The Angers Loire Métropole is made up of 30 communes covering 540 square kilometers (208 square miles) with 287,000 inhabitants.
Angers enjoys a rich cultural life, made possible by its universities and museums. The old medieval center is still dominated by the massive château of the Plantagenêts, home of the Apocalypse Tapestry, the biggest medieval tapestry ensemble in the world. Angers is also both at the edge of the Val de Loire, a World Heritage Site, and the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional natural park.