Around the museum
The Jardin des Beaux-Arts
The garden of the Musée des Beaux-Arts originally belonged to the Saint-Aubin abbey, built c. 534 AD. Part of these gardens was given up to the canons of the Toussaint abbey church (dating from the 13th century) in 1419. In 1422, Saint-Aubin sold the north part of the garden which would become from 1495 onwards, the garden of the Barrault private mansion. This is now the museum terrace.
In 1834, a fruit garden was planted in the former garden of the Barrault private mansion and the Toussaint abbey church, by the Société d’Agriculture, Sciences et Arts d’Angers, with the assistance of the town council. This ‘fruit school’ contained 1,700 varieties of fruit and sought to improve knowledge of, and teaching about the cultivation of fruit. In 1850, the Doyenné du Comice pear was first grown here. This variety is still considered to be the best pear in the world. The quality of the garden’s soil gradually degraded over time and the fruit garden was transferred to the rue Desmazières in 1925.
Later, the garden became known as the Jardin des Beaux-Arts. The École des Beaux-Arts was established here in 1923 (this building has since been destroyed). One Mr. Dupic was entrusted with the task of transforming the grounds and made it into an ornamental garden. He designed a French-style garden to surround the building, decorated with flowerbeds and statues, shaded by trees and rare shrubbery donated by nurseries in the Anjou region.
Garden opening hours: everyday from 8am-8pm.