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Friday, August 10, 2012

Chateau Gaillard

This week's continuing medieval history lesson took us to the Chateau Gaillard in Normandy. The chateau, now in ruins, sits perched on a strategic site overlooking the Seine river. It was built in 1196 by Richard the Lionhearted to protect his Normandy territory against French forces. During his lifetime, Richard was a vassal of the French King Philippe II, holding titles as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, and Count of Poitiers. Richard was also King of England, even though he was rarely there and didn't even speak English. Here is a map showing (in pink) the area that he ruled. Chateau Gaillard is located on the border between the pink area and the blue area which was ruled by the King of France.
After Richard's death in 1199, Philip laid siege to the castle and it became part of the French kingdom in 1204. The castle later changed hands again during the 100 years war. Finally, it was ordered destroyed by the King of France in 1598. Here's what the castle looked like in 1198:
Today, it is largely in ruins.

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