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Angoulême

  • 'Engolisma' was built on a plateau overlooking Charente, and was the administrative centre of the region. As this is the French capital of cartoons, why not head out in search of the painted walls between the Hôtel de Ville (town hall) and Place Saint-Martial, and from Champs-de-Mars to the train station. Apart from the famous cartoon festival, a number of other events are held here over the course ...
    © Lilyana Vynogradova / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination France

'Engolisma' was built on a plateau overlooking Charente, and was the administrative centre of the region. As this is the French capital of cartoons, why not head out in search of the painted walls between the Hôtel de Ville (town hall) and Place Saint-Martial, and from Champs-de-Mars to the train station. Apart from the famous cartoon festival, a number of other events are held here over the course of the year, including Piano en Valois, Ludoland, and Gastronomade.
Make the most of your visit by exploring the old town, with its ramparts, narrow streets, and old buildings.

Angoulême: what to do?

Take a cruise on the Bélandre riverboat from Angoulême or go for a walk along the ramparts dating from the 4th century.

The Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), which will impress you with its remarkable size. Built in the 19th century in a Neo-Gothic style, this building incorporates the medieval towers of the castle of the counts of Angoulême. It once served as a prison and a barracks before being turned into a town hall.

The Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, a jewel of Romanesque art. It is the most prestigious monument in the city. The façade features 70 sculptures depicting the Last Judgement.

  • The architecture
  • The festivals (comics, international jazz festival in June, tour of the ramparts, etc.)
  • Lots of crowds during the comics festival; it will be difficult to get your favourite author's signature!

Reminders

Visiting the 22 façades in Angoulême featuring paintings of comic book characters, including the 'Gaston et Prunelle' wall designed by Franquin on the Rue Hergé, the 'Titeuf' wall created by Zep on the Boulevard Pasteur, and the 'Jardin Extraordinaire' painted by Florence Cestac on the Rue Pierre Sémard.

To avoid

Travelling to Angoulême by car during the comics festival: it is very difficult to find a parking space!

Angoulême: what to eat?

Cornuelles, triangular biscuits that are a speciality of Charente and Deux-Sèvres. These biscuits are traditionally eaten around Palm Sunday in the south-west of France.

Angoulême: what to buy?

A bottle of Courvoisier cognac, known as the 'Cognac of Napoleon'. Napoleon visited the warehouses of Emmanuel Courvoisier in 1811 and even took several barrels with him to the island of St. Helena. Napoleon III then named Courvoisier cognac the "Official Supplier to the Imperial Court", testifying to the tie between the emperor and the brand, which became famous in part thanks to him.

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