Out in Africa travel blog

Gaillard Castle

View from the top



We arrived this mornings in Les Andelys, a little town nestled in the bend of the river with the white cliffs on the hillside. It compromises 2 villages separated by the River Gambon, Petit Andelys and Grand Andelys. It was of great strategic importance in the Middle Ages due to its location between Normandy and Vexin.

We walked through the town up the hill to the ruins of Gaillard Castle. It was built from 1196-97 by Richard the Lionhearted to protect Rouen from attacks by French King Philip Augustus. Richard died in 1199 and his less strong brother, John, took over and was attacked by Philip Augustus in 1204 who abandoned it after 8 months. The castle control went back and forth between France and England. Finally, recaptured by HenryV in 1418 it fell to ruin in 1449 when Henry ordered the stones be used to repair the church.

In 1862 it was classified as a Historical Monument. Restoration is presently taking place. Upper area is closed for the season so we could not tour inside. But there was a beautiful view over the town below!

We then walked along the river passed the hospital and old people's home built by The Lord of Andelys in 1785.

After lunch we walked to town to see the Gothic Church of St. Saucier constructed over a period of 100 years, starting in 1220. Built to look like a Greek cross. The beautiful glass windows depict the Stations of the Cross. Stations 1-4 and 11-14 are original. Stations 5-10 were destroyed and have been replaced by more modern ones.

It was a sunny and the warmest day so far.

We are sailing back towards Paris!

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