Château Gaillard

Les Andelys, France

Château Gaillard is a ruined medieval castle, located 90 m above the commune of Les Andelys overlooking the River Seine. The construction began in 1196 under the order of Richard the Lionheart, who was simultaneously King of England and feudal Duke of Normandy. The castle was expensive to build, but the majority of the work was done in an unusually short time. It took just two years, and at the same time the town of Petit Andely was constructed.

Château Gaillard has a complex and advanced design, and uses early principles of concentric fortification; it was also one of the earliest European castles to use machicolations. The castle consists of three enclosures separated by dry moats, with a keep in the inner enclosure.

Château Gaillard was captured in 1204 by the French king, Philip II, after a lengthy siege. In the mid-14th century, the castle was the residence of the exiled David II of Scotland. The castle changed hands several times in the Hundred Years' War, but in 1449 the French captured Château Gaillard from the English for the last time, and from then on it remained in French ownership.

Henry IV of France ordered the demolition of Château Gaillard in 1599; although it was in ruins at the time, it was felt to be a threat to the security of the local population. The castle ruins are listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. The inner bailey is open to the public from March to November, and the outer baileys are open all year.

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Details

Founded: 1196
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Despina Yeargin (7 months ago)
A must! Quite a steep hike up, but worth the effort. Beautiful views! Stop in at the local bar to enjoy a local beer.
david hellyn (7 months ago)
A beautiful site overlooking the town and the river. Not a lot to see but worth a visit for the view. Lots of interesting shops and cafes in the nearby town.
Zohar Tenne (7 months ago)
Nice view after going up. Not a must see
Lesley Wilson (10 months ago)
Hugely impressive and unforgettable sight. Good car park with superb view if you are not able to walk on the chateau site itself. Cars can drive down to a closer car park, but not caravans or motorhomes. Good toilets there too!
Paul Upson (11 months ago)
A grand castle ruins set in beautiful surroundings. We picnicked in a clearing across from the castle then climbed/walked down the hill and back up to the castle. It is steep so be prepared. The views of the surrounding valley are breathtaking.
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