Anjou is a former county (in the sense of being ruled by a count, from c. 880), duchy (1360) and province centred on the city of Angers in the lower Loire Valley of western France. Its traditional Latin name was Andegavia.
Count Henry "Curtmantle" of Anjou, inherited the kingdom of England on October 25, 1154, becoming in addition king Henry II of England. The resulting Angevin Empire would, at its peak, spread from Ulster to the Pyrenees. Henry's son, Richard, had no legitimate issue upon his death, so in 1199 Anjou passed to his nephew, Arthur of Brittany (the posthumous son of Henry II’s fourth son, Geoffrey), while the Crown of England passed to Henry II’s fifth son and Richard’s youngest brother, John. Count Arthur was taken prisoner by his uncle John in 1203, and disappeared under suspicious circumstances. In 1205, the county was seized by king Philip II Augustus of France. Its status was elevated to that of a duchy for Prince Louis, the second son of John II of France, and remained as such until the Revolution. Today, Anjou corresponds largely to the present-day département of Maine-et-Loire.