The Château-sur-Epte Castle construction was begun in 1097 by William Rufus, King of England, to reinforce the frontier of Epte. The castle occupied a site on the border between the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of France. In 1119, it was besieged by Louis VI of France and reinforced by the Plantagenets in the 12th century and again during the Hundred Years' War.
In the 12th century, it was restored and reinforced by Henry II of England (keep and entry). Other works were carried out in the 14th century. In 1437, the château was captured by John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. The castle's role declined in the 16th century and it was ordered to be dismantled by Mazarin in 1647. Transformed into an agricultural centre under the Ancien Régime, it comprised a motte with a stone keep, a lower court linked to the motte and defended by a curtain wall flanked in the east and west by two fortified gateways (14th century), a drawbridge and, in the lower court, a medieval barn, a 17th century corps de logis and a dovecote. The condition of the site deteriorated.
The ruins are private property. It has been listed since 1926 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.