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Located south-west of the French capital, Angers is in western France. After Nantes and Rennes, and minus the metropolitan area of Angers, it is the third most populous in the north-west of the country. The metropolitan area is made up of ten other communes including Avrillé, Sainte-Gemmes-sur-Loire and Beaucouzé. These all form various suburbs and Angers is situated south of the point where the three rivers of Loire, Mayenne and Sarthe join and flow into the river Maine.
The first indication of human existence in the commune dates back as far as 400,000 BC and Angers got its first bishop in 372. The urban transformation undergone by Paris in the 19th century had a lasting affect on Angers with many segments decimated or re-built. However, since that period Angers itself has regenerated with shopping centres, council estates and the creation of a highway, which has meant the destruction of other areas. Nevertheless, Angers is a key ingredient of the country’s heritage.