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Historical region, lower Loire valley, northwestern France. Organized in the Gallo-Roman period as the Civitas Andegavensis, it later became the countship, and from 1360 the duchy, of Anjou. Its capital was Angers. Under the Carolingian dynasty, it was nominally administered by a count representing the French king. The area came under the English king Henry II when he married Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152, thus founding the Anglo-Angevin empire of the Plantagenet dynasty. The French recovered Anjou in 1259, and it was united with France in 1487. It ceased to exist as a department in 1790.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Anjou, visit Britannica.com.